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leifljtg: F. A. BROCKHAUS. 

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BombatJ anU Calcutta : MACM1LLAN AND CO., Ltd. 

[All Rights reserved.] 

Se republica anglorum 







L. ALSTON, Christ's College 





at the University Press 


(Eam&ri&ge : 




Preface (F. W. M.) 

Introduction (L. A.) 

' To the Reader (1583) 

A Necessarie Table of all the 
contained in this booke 

! De Republica Anglorum ... 

Appendix A (The later editions) 

Appendix B (Extracts from Harrison's Description 

Appendix C (Certain MSS. readings) 

of En$ 








Sir Thomas Smith's discourse on the Common- 
wealth of England is a famous and in some sort a 
well-known book. No one would think of writing 
about the England of Elizabeth's day without pay- 
ing heed to what was written about that matter by 
her learned and accomplished Secretary of State. 
His little treatise comprises some sentences touching 
the powers of Parliament which have been quoted and 
transcribed times without number, and which will be 
quoted and transcribed so long as men take any 
interest in the history of the English constitution. 
But if in this sense it has been a well-known book, 
we cannot say that it has been exactly and accurately 
known. It has been possible, even for learned men, to 
mistake a Latin translation for the original text, and 
the copies of the English text which have been in the 
market differ materially from each other. Those of 
the oldest editions have commanded a somewhat high 
price, while those of later editions give us a good deal 
of matter which we cannot with any confidence ascribe 
to the pen of Sir Thomas. 

a 5 vii 


It seemed then that the time had come when a new 
edition would be welcome. Also it seemed fit and 
proper that the new edition should proceed from the 
Press of that University of which Sir Thomas Smith 
was in his day one of the most illustrious sons. 
Mr Alston has kindly taken off my hands a piece of 
work that I was unable to bring to an end, and, though 
this is not the place in which I may praise him, I may 
even here be allowed to say that he has spared no pains 
in his endeavour to set before the public a good text 
of a good book. 

His Introduction leaves me nothing to do save to 
call to remembrance the main facts of our author's life. 
It will not be forgotten that Sir Thomas found a 
biographer in John Strype, nor that in more recent 
times Professor A. F. Pollard has written an excellent 
article about him in the Dictionary of National Biography. 
Mr Mullinger also in his History of the University of 
Cambridge has spoken at some length of Smith's 
academic career. This being so, but very little need 
here be said. 

Thomas Smith was born at Saffron Walden in 
1 5 13. In 1526 he entered Queens' College, Cam- 
bridge. At the beginning of 1530 he was elected a 
fellow of that college, being then B.A. He graduated 
M.A. in 1533 and shortly afterwards began to lecture 
on Greek. In 1538 he became public orator of the 
University. It was at this time that he won the 
honourable place that he holds in the history of scholar- 


ship by endeavouring in concert with his friend John 
Cheke to introduce the ' Erasmian' method of pro- 
nouncing the Greek language ; but he was also paying 
attention to Roman law. In 1 540 King Henry founded 
the five regius professorships, and the chair of civil law 
was given to Smith. He went abroad to study and 
became a doctor in law of the University of Padua ; 
also he saw something of the French universities, in 
which Roman jurisprudence was beginning to shake 
off" its medieval garb. As in the case of scholarship, 
so in the case of law, he was on the side of the 
reformers, and he returned to speak with enthusiasm 
to a Cambridge audience of the work that was being 
done by Andrea Alciato and Ulrich Zasi. In religion 
also he was with the reformers. He became chancellor 
to Goodrich, bishop of Ely. In 1 546 he was ordained 
priest, and he held the rectory of Leverington in Cam- 
bridgeshire. Shortly after the accession of Edward VI. 
he entered public life and the service of the Protector 
Somerset. He became clerk of the privy council, 
steward of the stannary court, a master of the court 
of requests, provost of Eton, dean of Carlisle, and 
in 1548 one of the two secretaries of state. The 
fall of the Protector, to whom he had been faithful, 
brought some trouble upon him. He was deprived 
of the secretaryship and the professorship. Mary's 
accession brought further trouble. A married priest, 
he had to resign Eton and Carlisle, but from any 
worse fate than a life in retirement he seems to have 



been shielded by Stephen Gardiner, who, it is said, had 
reason to be grateful to him for similar services per- 
formed in King Edward's reign. When Mary died, 
he once more emerged. He was at once placed upon 
a commission ' for the consideration of things necessary 
for a parliament' — the momentous parliament of 1559, 
in which, notwithstanding his holy orders, he repre- 
sented the borough of Liverpool. A committee of 
divines was to meet at his house to review the book 
of common prayer ; but whether that committee ever 
met seems still to be an open question, and to a 
degree that is somewhat surprising Smith appears 
during the rest of his life to have behaved as though 
he had never been ordained. In 1562 he was sent 
as Elizabeth's ambassador to France and there he 
remained until 15616 during a stormy time. While 
in France he wrote the little treatise that is here 
printed. He was admitted to the privy council in 
1 57 1 and once more became a secretary of state in 
1572. He represented the county of Essex in the 
parliament of that year and became chancellor of the 
order of the garter. His health failed in 1576 and 
he died on the 12th of August 1577. 

Altogether it is a remarkable career. Few English- 
men have held so many offices of such different sorts. 
Among his contemporaries his reputation for learning 
stood high. Not only was he regarded as an erudite 
* Grecian,' but he knew something of Hebrew and the 
modern tongues. Not only was he regarded as an 


eminent and enlightened { civilian,' but he was ac- 
counted a master of history and mathematics and l natural 
philosophy.' The chief works of his that have come 
down to us, beside the book on the Commonwealth 
of England, are a tract on the pronunciation of Greek 
and a tract on the reform of English spelling, both 
of which were published in his lifetime, and an inter- 
esting dialogue, printed by Strype, on the question 
whether it were well that Queen Elizabeth should 
marry a foreigner, an Englishman, or nobody. We 
have also many letters on affairs of state which proceed 
from him. His c Commonwealth ' or ' De Republica ' 
was not published until 1583, some eighteen years 
after it was first written and some six years after his 
death. The rapidity with which new editions of it were 
issued shews that it was widely read, and we may say 
that it has won for itself a place among our constitu- 
tional classics. But at this point I may resign the pen 
to Mr Alston. 




Sir Thomas Smith was Elizabeth's ambassador in 
France from 1562 to 1566, and it was in this period 
that he penned what was intended to be the first rough 
draft of his De Republica Anglorum. Perhaps we cannot 
do better than begin with a quotation from a letter 
written by Smith to his friend Walter Haddon. It is 
dated the 6th of April at Bordeaux, whither the English 
minister had followed the French court from Toulouse, 
but it was written on the journey. Queen Catherine, 
we may observe in passing, was on her way to that 
famous interview at Bayonne of which our historians 
tell us less than we should like to know. Haddon has 
asked how Smith employs his time ; Smith, in a Latin 
epistle, which is printed in Haddon 1 'sLucubrationes, replies 
to his queries. The part of the letter which refers to 
our book may be rendered as follows. " And because 
in my absence I feel a yearning for our commonwealth, I 
have put together three books here at Toulouse describing 
it, taking as the title De Republica Anglorum ; and in these 
I have set forth almost the whole of its form, especially 
those points in which it differs from the others. But 
it differs in almost all ; with the consequence that the 
work has grown larger than I expected. I have written 
it moreover in the language of our own country, in 
a style midway between the historical and the philoso- 
phical, giving it the shape in which I imagined that 
Aristotle wrote of the many Greek commonwealths 



books which are no longer extant. I have furnished 
fruitful argument for those who would debate after the 
fashion of philosophers on single topics and raise nice 
points as to justice and injustice, and whether what is 
held yonder in England as law be the better, or what is 
held here and in those regions which are administered 
in accordance with the Roman Law. For all things, 
almost, are different, and I have set them forth on both 
sides in rough general outline. ' Why not send the 
books to me ? ' (you say). ' I desire eagerly to see 
what you have done.' They still lie among the rough 
scrawls of my note books ; when they have been fully 
written out and given to the world in book-form, I shall 
send them to you. For you were accustomed to think (as 
the well-known writer puts it 1 ) that our trifles had some 
value. You will certainly say, if I mistake not, when 
you read them through, that I am not ill-versed in our 
country's institutions. But it needs must be that in 
this brief essay there should be gaps, and a few points 
not filled in, because I brought with me not a single 
book and had no men of law to consult. Accordingly 
I have written only as much as was supplied by my 
memory, for the time being, of matters I had seen or 
read. Those parts that are imperfect I shall be able to 
complete at my leisure when I have returned home." 

The work itself is dated with scrupulous exactitude, 
much in the fashion of Thucydides, in the last chapter 
of the third book. The author tells us that he has set 
forth the government of England as it stands " at this 
day the xxviij of March Anno 1565 in the vij yeare of 
the raigne and administration thereof by the most 
vertuous and noble Queene Elizabeth, daughter to King 

1 Namque tii solebas nostras (ut ille ait) esse aliquid putare nugas. Cf. 
Catull. 1. 3. 



Henrie the eight, and in the one and fifteeth yeere of 
mine age, when I was ambassador for her majestie in 
the court of Fraunce, the scepter whereof at that time 
the noble Prince and of great hope Charles Maximilian 
did holde, having then raigned iiij yeares." We shall 
see grounds for believing that Smith kept to his pur- 
pose of making additions to his treatise later on, and we 
might therefore be tempted to conclude that this 
epilogue — the British Museum MS. cuts it off as a 
separate chapter headed Epilogus — with its past tenses, 
"was ambassador," "did holde," "having then raigned," 
is one of these later additions. But the similarity of the 
last sentences of the chapter to the sentences of the 
letter to Haddon makes it more probable that the two 
were written close about the same time ; and that Smith 
is sympathetically putting himself in the place of the 
readers to whom this date will belong to the past. In 
describing the English constitution, he tells us, he has 
set before our eyes " the principall pointes wherein 
it doth differ from the policie or government at this 
time used in Fraunce, Italie, Spaine, Germanie and all 
other countries, which doe followe the civill lawe of the 
Romanes compiled by Justinian into his pandects and 
code." He has dealt especially with the "pointes 
wherein the one differeth from the other, to see who 
hath taken the righter, truer, and more commodious 
way to governe the people aswell in warre as in peace. 
This will be no illiberall occupation for him that is 
a Philosopher and hath a delight in disputing, nor un- 
profitable for him who hath to do and hath good will to 
serve the Prince and the common wealth in giving 
counsell for the better administration thereof." This 
explanation is very similar to that which he makes to 
Haddon in his letter dated less than a fortnight later. 



Sir Thomas Smith died on the 12th August, 1577, 
after an illness that had lasted over a year. The De 
Republica was not published till 1583, when it was 
brought out by Gregorie Seton (London) with a number 
of marginal notes, mostly of the nature of corrections, 
and not always couched in language complimentary to 
the author of the book. For these notes Smith is 
apparently not responsible. But the question naturally 
arises, had Smith in any way polished, or added to, his 
draft of March 1565 ? 

Now in 1577, the year of Smith's death, though 
presumably before the month of his death, appeared 
the first edition of Holinshed's Chronicle, and in this was 
incorporated William Harrison's well-known Description 
of England. Of this again a second and enlarged edition 
appeared in 1587, four years after the publication of the 
De Republica, and in Harrison's section of the work in 
this second edition we find an additional chapter dealing 
with Parliament — a chapter which is a condensation and 
adaptation of certain chapters of Smith's book. Parlia- 
mentary procedure is here described, as Harrison freely 
admits, in the same words " as sir Thomas Smith dooth 
deliver and set them downe, whose onelie direction I 
use, and almost word for word in this chapter, requiting 
him with a like borowage as he hath used toward me in 
his discourse of the sundrie degrees of estates in the 
commonwealth of England, which (as I hope) shall be 
no discredit to his travell." Here is a confession, but 
also an accusation. And we turn with some interest 
therefore to the earlier edition of Holinshed to see 
what Harrison has had to say about the "sundrie 
degrees of estates," and whether there is any truth in 
this remarkably courteous and friendly charge of 


The similarity of the two sets of chapters dealing 
with the nobility, gentry, yeomanry etc. is sufficiently 
striking. One of the two authors has "borrowed" ; and 
if the "borowage" was from a printed work, Smith was 
evidently the debtor in the transaction. Can it however 
have been Harrison who saw and used Smith's manu- 
script ? Possibly, but not probably. When we compare 
the earlier Holinshed (1577), the later Holinshed 
(1587), and Smith, we find many differences of a kind 
that point to Smith's treatment being intermediate in 
time between the other two. For though he has 
lifted without acknowledgment the substance of whole 
paragraphs from his friend's work, he has done so with 
discretion as regards rearrangement of the matter and 
also occasional literary improvements. And then when 
Harrison comes to rewrite his book for the later edition 
he re-borrows not a few of these improvements — taking 
over, for instance, the phrase about gentlemen being 
made " good cheap " in England — and he uses Smith's 
work as freely as Smith has used his. Moreover, 
he never hesitates in making his acknowledgments. 
Smith's name appears more than once in the enlarged 
chapters, and it is this fact, doubtless, that has caused 
commentators to overlook Harrison's priority. Had 
Harrison stolen secretly in his first edition from an 
unpublished manuscript, he could scarcely have penned 
that genial sentence about the guilty Smith, nor should 
we expect to find him so scrupulous in acknowledging 
his later indebtedness. 

If Smith plagiarised from the published Holinshed, 
and not from some unpublished MS., it must necessarily 
have been in the last few months of his life, in the course 
of his prolonged illness. With regard to this last illness, 
Strype (who, though by no means the most trustworthy 



of biographers, is not likely to have wilfully misstated 
what he has read) writes as follows [Life of Smith, 2nd 
edit. 1820, p. 148). "But he could not be idle, which 
he said was contrary to his nature : he was therefore 
minded to follow his study, and take a review of what 
he had formerly done. And in this loathful leisure, as 
he called it, among other occupations and pastimes, he 
would remember the days of his youth, and look back 
again to his doings then ; and now being old, quasi 
repuerascere, i.e. hereby, ' as it were to grow a child 
again.' When he was secretary in King Edward's days, 
he wrote a book of the value of Roman coins to our 
English standard, upon a question Cecil, his fellow 
Secretary, had moved to him, viz. what was the ordinary 
wages of a soldier at Rome. This book, as many others 

which he wrote in his youth, he had now lost He 

desired therefore the Lord Treasurer to see for it, who 
he thought had not laid it up so negligently — This 
book, as it seems, the Lord Treasurer found out among 
his papers, and sent it to the Secretary, according to his 
request ; which he had desired to see, as he said to the 
said Lord, tanquam filium postliminio redeuntem, perditum 
quasi, et iterum inventurn." Strype in this passage is 
quoting from some letter or letters of Smith, and though 
there is no mention here of the De Republican we gather 
that Smith was revising at least some of his early 
writings. Among these he may well have taken in 
hand the book with which we are here concerned. 

There is also a little internal evidence pointing to 
composite construction and revision of the De Republica. 
This however might conceivably be put down to the 
account of the editorial hand that prepared the work 
for publication after Smith's death. But if so, the 
editor cannot be the commentator who has added the 


marginal notes, for the corrective marginalia occur in 
what we may call the Harrison chapters as well as else- 
where. Moreover the editor must have been a man of 
considerable literary ability and have taken unusual 
trouble in the rearrangement. For the revision which 
I suppose to have been undertaken at some date be- 
tween 1565 and 1583 seems to have extended beyond 
the additional chapters (16 to 24 of Book I.) which 
were taken over from Harrison. Notice, for instance, 
in Book II. chapter 2 the words, " Yeomen I call here 
as before...," and yet there is no other reference to 
yeomen except in the Harrison chapters 1 . 

But more important for the settlement of the 
question of Smith's plagiarism is a linguistic detail. 
Smith habitually uses " Prince " to stand for " King or 
Queen," possibly because he is writing in the reign of 
a queen regnant, but has spent the first forty years of 
his life in the service of Henry VIII. and Edward, and 
is equally familiar with the name " King." (Books 
published in the latter years of Victoria's reign frequently 
speak of the Queen and her powers and prerogatives as 
if England had always been and always would be under 
the sway of a woman.) But in Book I. chapter 18 
we are told that the " King's eldest sonne is called kolt 
i^o^rju the Prince," and this use of the title appears 

1 Just possibly however, it may be pointed out in passing, these 
chapters took the place of some earlier chapters which have been com- 
pletely omitted. For the third chapter of Book II. opens with the 
sentence — " The Prince whom I nowe call (as I have often before) the 

Monarch of Englande, King or Queene, "; — and yet the word 

"monarch" has only occurred once previously, namely in Book I. 
chapter 24; the word "monarchy" only twice, in chapters 7 and 
9 ; and the Greek word povapxia but once also. And further, if we 
merely strike out chapters 16 to 24 as not belonging to the original 
text, and do not assume any earlier chapters to have stood in their place, 
the three books of the treatise would be of very unequal length, viz. 18 
(instead of 33) pages, 53, and 32. 



elsewhere in only two places, — in another sentence of 
the same chapter, and once in chapter 16. In all other 
cases, even within the Harrison chapters, the other 
usage prevails. 

We may notice also some reasons why Smith, while 
borrowing freely certain paragraphs of Harrison, may 
have thought well to leave other passages untouched. 
Harrison deals at some length with the merchants of 
England, whose great numbers he pathetically laments 
as the cause of high prices. Smith, who had written 
several pamphlets on monetary questions and had per- 
haps some claim to be called an economist, may well 
have disagreed with this sweeping statement. Harrison 
mentions the chief officers of state, giving their order of 
precedence, and Smith, himself twice secretary of state, 
may have omitted mention of them on grounds of 
personal modesty. On similar grounds we may account 
for his omission of Harrison's description of the clergy. 
Smith was in holy orders, and may well have shrunk 
from transcribing the eulogiums on the learning — 
Greek, Latin and Hebrew — of the English clergy. 

Harrison has dealt also with other questions of 
which Smith treats elsewhere, such as the sub- 
divisions of the county and the duties of sheriffs, 
justices, and constables, but all this matter Smith leaves 
severely alone. For an explanation of this, however, we 
need not go further than the words of Harrison him- 
self, who closes his treatment of the shires in the follow- 
ing characteristic manner. "And this much have I 
thought good to set downe generallie of the said 
counties and their maner of governance, although not 
in so perfect order as the cause requireth, bicause that 
of all the rest there is nothing wherewith I am lesse 
acquainted than with our temporall regiment, which (to 


saie truth) smallie concerneth my calling." It was 
hardly from an author of this stamp that Smith would 
take matter of legal or quasi-legal character. 

One curious point with regard to the assumed 
plagiarism deserves a passing mention. At the end of 
Harrison's account of the knights of the garter come 
the words — " and the rest by certeine statutes and lawes 
amongst themselves be taken as brethren and fellowes 
in that order, to the number of six and twentie, as 
I find in a certeine treatise written of the same, an 
example whereof I have here inserted word for word, 
as it was delivered unto me, beginning after this 
maner." It is not quite clear whether this refers to 
some formula of admission to the order, which was in- 
tended to follow immediately, but for some reason 
was omitted, or whether Harrison is acknowledging 
another plagiarism affecting his whole description of the 
order. In either case it is a little strange that Smith, 
who was himself chancellor of the order and therefore 
presumably knew more about it than Harrison (or 
Harrison's predecessor, if there was one), should in 
this also (see Book I. ch. 1 8) have made use of Harrison. 
But though it is a strange fact, and not to be lightly 
ignored, it is hardly sufficient in itself to upset the 
amount of positive evidence in favour of our theory 1 . 

Let us now look into the subject-matter of the 
various chapters more in detail. 

Book I. begins with a discussion of the familiar 
sixfold division of commonwealths which we inherit from 
Aristotle, and of the question, what constitutes justice 
and law? (chapters I — 6). Incidentally we get a rough 
statement of what is meant by " the ruling and Sove- 

1 Some additional evidences of divergence in view between the borrowed 
chapters and the rest of the book are noted later on. 



raigne part " of a commonwealth. (The abstract term 
"sovereignty" does not appear.) "To rule," (we are 
told) "is understoode to have the highest and supreme 
authoritie of commaundement. That part or member 
of the common wealth is saide to rule which doth con- 
trowle, correct, and direct all other members of the 
common wealth " (I. i). This ruling part may be one 
man, the few, or the many ; but in any case " common 
wealthes or governements are not most commonly 
simple but mixt " (I. 6) ; and so democratic, aristo- 
cratic, and monarchical states differ from one another 
rather like men of " cholericke, sanguine, phlegmatique, 
and melancolique " temperaments, of which we seldom 
find " the one utterly perfect without mixtion of the 
other." How then is our author going to treat England ? 
Is it to be called predominantly democratic, aristocratic, 
or monarchical ? 

Smith seems to have hesitated. Chapters 7 and 8 
deal with kingship in general, and chapter 9 with " the 
name king and thadministration of England." This 
comparatively lengthy treatment of monarchical govern- 
ment, without any corresponding attention to the other 
forms, points to its being the most important for the 
purpose of the treatise as a whole — or in other words to 
England being classed as a monarchy. In chapter 9 
he writes as follows. "By olde and auncient histories 
that I have red, I do not understand that our nation hath 
used any other generall authoritie in this realme neither 
Aristocraticall nor Democratically but onely the royall and 
kingly majestie which at the first was divided into many 
and sundrie kinges, ech absolutely reigning in his 
countrie, not under the subjection of other, till... at the 
last the realme of England grew into one Monarchic" 
The word " absolutely " is probably not intended to 


cany any greater value than the succeeding phrase " not 
under the subjection of other " ; but England is dis- 
tinctly called, not an aristocracy, nor a democracy, but 
a monarchy. 

Yet, later on, in one of the Harrison chapters, we 
get a statement from which the most natural deduction 
(in accordance with Smith's own statement of what 
constitutes the sovereign part of a state) would seem to 
be that England is a democracy. Chapter 24 deals 
with "the fourth sort of men which doe not rule." 
" These have no voice nor authoritie in our common 
wealth, and no account is made of them but onelie to 
be ruled, not to rule other, and yet they be not alto- 
gether neglected Wherefore generally to speake of 

the common wealth, or policie of Englande, it is 
governed, administred, and manured by three sortes of 
persons, the Prince, Monarch, and head governer, 
which is called the King, or if the crowne fall to a 

woman, the Queene absolute The gentlemen, which 

be divided into two parts, — The thirde and last 
sorte of persons is named the yeomanrie ; each of these 
hath his part and administration in judgementes, cor- 
rections of defaultes, in election of offices, in appointing 
and collection of tributes and subsidies, or in making 
lawes, as shall appeare hereafter " (I. 24). Moreover, 
when he comes to use the word " monarch " in definite 
relation to the King or Queen of England (Bk. II. c. 3) 
he finds it necessary to draw attention to the fact that 
he is doing so, as if this were in some degree a debate- 
able point. 

Smith, then, would seem to have wavered in his 
treatment. He has not thought the question of sove- 
reignty out to its logical issues, and the matter which 
he has taken from Harrison has not been so well 

b xxiii 


assimilated to the rest of the essay as to allow of the 
removal of all inconsistencies. 

To revert to the earlier chapters. The tenth we 
notice is a digression. It rules out of account what 
Seeley would call the " inorganic " state ; for as regards 
such a government as that of the Sultan of Turkey 
" a man may doubt whether his administration be to be 
accompted a common wealth or a kingdome, or rather 
to be reputed onely as one that hath under him an 
infinite number of slaves or bondmen among whom 
there is no right, law nor common wealth." 

In the eleventh, twelfth and thirteenth chapters we 
get an adumbration of the probable development of 
political institutions, beginning with the monarchical 
household and closing with the great democratic state. 
There is a natural progress, Smith thinks, from patri- 
archal kingship in the small community, through an 
intermediate aristocratic constitution, to the democratic 
government which is adapted to the community which 
has outgrown less mature forms of administration. But 
none of these, he goes on to point out in chapter 15, is 
necessarily suited to all stages in national character. 
Democratic institutions best fit one people, monarchical 
institutions another. And " when to ech partie or 
espece and kinde of the people that is applied which 
best agreeth like a garment to the bodie or shoe to the 
foote, then the bodie politique is in quiet, and findeth 
ease, pleasure and profit." 

Down to this point everything that Smith has 
written has been of the most general introductory 
character, with the exception of the single chapter on 
the English king. Now comes a completely new be- 
ginning. "To make all thinges yet cleare before, as we 
shal go, there ariseth another division of the partes of 


the common wealth. For it is not -nough to say that 
it consisteth of a multitude of houses and families which 
make stretes and villages, and the multitude of the stretes 
and villages make townes, and the multitude of townes 
the realme, and that freemen be considered only in this 
behalf.... This (as I sayde) is not enough. But the 
division of these which be participant of the common 
wealth is one way of them that beare office, the other 
of them that beare none : the first are called magis- 
trates, the second private men" (I. 16). This intro- 
duces the interesting Harrison chapters, from I. 16 to 
the end of Book I. As these presumably do not 
belong to the original plan of the work we pass direct 
to the second book. 

Book II. begins with the famous passage dealing 
with Parliament and the authority thereof (II. i) ; an 
account of the forms observed by Parliament (II. 2) ; 
and a summary statement of the powers of the Crown 
(II. 3).. Then follows an attempt to classify the forms 
of political activity with which a treatise on the consti- 
stution should deal. " Common wealthes and govern- 
mentes " (we are told) " be most occupyed, and be most 
diverse in the fashion of five thinges : in making of 
battell and peace, or truce with forraine nations : in 
providing of mony for the maintenance of themselves 
within themselves, and defence of themselves against 
their enemies : in choosing and election of the chiefe 
officers and magistrates : and fiftly in the administration 
of justice. The firste and thirde we have shewed is 
doone by the prince in parliament. The seconde and 
fourth by the prince himselfe. The fift remaineth to 
be declared " (II. 4). The remainder of the treatise, 
from this chapter to the end of Book III. (71 pages 
out of 119, or, omitting the Harrison chapters, 7 1 pages 

b 2 xxv 


out of 104), Smith devotes to his main topic, which is, 
not the " constitution " as ordinarily understood by 
students of political science, but rather that which is 
usually treated under the heading of Justice and 

The De Republica is intended as a pioneer treatise 
in Comparative Politics, and ends with a call to the 
study of the new subject. But the limits and bound- 
aries of the study are not yet clearly defined ; and we 
need not be surprised therefore that Smith should 
waver in his views as to what should and what should 
not be included within it. One fact, however, stands 
out clearly. The " constitution " does not for Smith 
consist of the same elements as for Walter Bagehot or 
his imitators, and his work therefore is not felt by him 
as the forerunner of such treatises as theirs. For 
Smith the framework of a commonwealth consists 
almost entirely of its courts, its judicial system, and its 
methods of police. 

Had his subject-matter been the same as that of 
Bagehot's English Constitution, the form and balance of 
the essay would necessarily have been very different. No 
writer dealing with the " constitution " of Elizabethan 
England, in the ordinary sense of that word, could 
have ignored the powers and duties of the great officers 
of state — least of all a writer who had himself, in two 
reigns, held the high position of Principal Secretary of 
State. " The period of the Tudors and the early 
Stewarts was," as Dr Prothero says (Statutes and Consti- 
tutional Documents, Introd. p. ci.), "the 'period of 
government by Council.' " Yet the Privy Council 
receives only the briefest of passing mentions (in II. 3, 
— where it is treated as an appendage of the Prince). 
But the Star Chamber, which is practically the same 


body in its judicial aspect, is described at considerable 
length (III. 4). The relations of church and state were 
too prominent a question in Smith's time, and convo- 
cation was still a body of too great constitutional 
importance, for them to be ignored (however cautiously 
they might need to be handled) in an Elizabethan 
treatise on the constitution. Yet they are passed over 
without a mention ; while the ecclesiastical courts are 
given the greater part of a chapter (III. 9) and their 
relation to the Crown is treated with simple directness. 

To Smith, then, the constitution of a commonwealth 
consists primarily of its courts and its various forms of 
law — martial, ecclesiastical, and general. Nor is his 
book, though the treatment is intended to be compara- 
tive, greatly concerned with the contrast between " con- 
stitutional " England and " absolute " France, as we 
should expect if he were mainly interested in such 
questions as that of royal and parliamentary sovereignty. 
The regularly recurring contrast is that between 
England on the one hand and, on the other, those 
countries which " doe followe the civill Law of the 
Romanes compiled by Justinian into his pandects and 
code " (III. 9). This is the comparison which is fore- 
shadowed in the letter to Haddon (" problemata facere 
...utrum sit melius, id quod isthic teneatur in Anglia 
pro lege, an quod hie, et in illis provinciis, quae Romano 
iure reguntur") and appears in almost every chapter 
of the third book. 

Why then does he devote those three lengthy 
chapters to the Prince and the Parliament ? He does 
so because no account of the judicial system would be 
complete without them. The Prince is the head of 
that system ; he " giveth all the chiefe and highest 
offices or magistracies of the realme, be it of judgement 



or dignitie, temporall or spirituall " ; " all writtes, exe- 
cutions and commaundementes be done in the princes 
name " ; and in time of war and during insurrections 
he has a certain absolute power called "marciall lawe"; 
while the Parliament (King, Lords and Commons) is 
itself the " highest and most authenticall court of 
Englande " — not of course because of any jurisdiction 
that the upper house may exercise as a court of error 
(a jurisdiction which was hardly patent in Elizabeth's 
day) — nor yet because of impeachments, for impeach- 
ments belong, not to Elizabethan times, but to the 
past and to the future. 

That word " court " comes to our modern ears 
as a mere archaism when it is applied to Parliament. 
But to Smith the application seems a natural usage, 
expressive of a still living fact. He does not cut 
apart the l egislat ive, judicia l, and executive func - 
tionSj and en deavou r to assign each _to_ a particular 
element_in_the con st itution. Rather he tends to blur 
together the first two, and while of course clearly 
understanding the great practical difference between 
statutes and the sentences of lower courts, to treat them 
as being, for theoretical purposes, members of the 
same group. Both are the offspring of "courts"; and 
though Parliament is the greatest among these, and has 
many functions which the others have not, it is not 
therefore an element in the constitution which is sui 

Though we are all familiar with the presence of a 
court, nominally identical with the House of Lords, as 
the supreme court of appeal, we have come, with the 
development of political theory, to feel that the quasi- 
judicial functions of the full Parliament of King, Lords 
and Commons (" legitimating bastards, giving forms of 


succession to the crown, giving most free pardons and 
absolutions, restoring in blood and name as the highest 
court," etc.) are incongruous excrescences, historical out- 
growths that can best be excused by referring to our 
non-logical British methods. When the modern his- 
torian reminds us, for instance, that a bill of attainder is 
legislative in form but judicial in fact, we feel at once, as 
we read such a statement, that Parliament in passing bills 
of attainder would be encroaching on an alien sphere of 
activity. But to Smith Parliament is primarily a court, 
and if dealing with such bills is not its normal or most 
distinctive function, it is at least a function of prime im- 
portance for his particular purpose. " This is the order 
and forme," he says, summing up the chapter, " of the 
highest and most authenticall court of Englande, by 
vertue whereof all those things be established whereof 
I spake before, and no other meanes accounted vailable 
to make any new forfaiture of life, member, or landes 
of any English man, where there was no lawe ordayned 
for it before." 

But has not Smith begun by declaring that "the 
most high and absolute power of the realme of Englande 
consisteth in the Parliament ? " And does not this 
statement place Parliament on a totally different level 
from all other constitutional bodies, and in fact imply 
the existence of parliamentary " sovereignty " ? 

Such is indeed the traditional interpretation. And 
writers on constitutional history have found herein 
Smith's chief claim to a place in the history of thought. 
To illustrate the current view it will be sufficient to 
quote from that well-known History of the Science of 
Politics which we owe to the pen of Sir Frederick 
Pollock. " In the De Republica Anglorum or English 
Commonwealth of Sir Thomas Smith, first published 



after the author's death in 1583, we find something 
much more like a forerunner of Hobbes. Indeed, so 
clear and precise are Smith's chapters on Sovereignty 
that one is tempted to think he must somehow have 
had knowledge of Bodin's work. At the outset he 
defines political supremacy in a manner by no means 
unlike Bodin's. When he comes to English institu- 
tions in particular, he states the omnipotence of Parlia- 
ment in the most formal manner, and so far as I know 
for the first time, as if on purpose to contradict Bodin's 
argument that the monarchy of England is really 
absolute " (p. 54). And in discussing Locke, a little 
further on, the same author says that " he is nowhere 
so precise on the supreme authority of Parliament... as 
Sir Thomas Smith a century before him " (p. 74). 

Yet in spite of the consensus of authority on 
the point there is room for considerable doubt as to 
whether this view of Smith's position is the correct 
view. Whatever may be logically deducible from 
the facts stated in the first four chapters of Book II., 
it is questionable whether Smith had at all firmly 
gripped the ideas underlying the modern doctrine 
of sovereignty. Let us look a little more closely 
at the wording of these chapters. But notice first 
the frequent references to the contrasted require- 
ments of war and peace, e.g. in the last chapter of 
the treatise — "to see who hath taken the righter, truer, 
and more commodious way to governe the people aswell 
in warre as in peace." Now in Book II. chapter 1, — 
the critical chapter on Parliament, — Smith goes on, 
immediately after the downright statement so often 
quoted, to add the following sentence, which, rightly 
read, is a distinct qualification of that which precedes. 
" For as in warre where the king himselfe in person, 



the nobilitie, the rest of the gentilitie, and the yeomanrie 
are, is the force and power of Englande : so in peace 
and consultation where the Prince is to give life, and 
the last and highest commaundement, the Baronie...the 
knightes...the bishoppes...bee present to advertise, 
consult, and shew what is good and necessarie for the 
common wealth.... That is the Princes and whole realmes 
deede." The whole power of the realm is therefore 
present either when the king is at the head of his army 
or when the king is present in parliament. A parlia- 
ment, like the army or the Twelve Men, comes 
together for special purposes and disappears again. 
Either parliament or army (the king in both cases 
being included) may be described as the " power " of 
England ; and the decisions of all three — the prince in 
the army, the parliament, and the Twelve Men — are 
alike " absolute " — that is, not subject to appeal. 

Let us look at Smith's use of that word "absolute" 
a little closely. It is a word that comes very frequently 
from his pen. Aristotle, he says, treats of the division 
of commonwealths "most absolutely and methodically" 
(I. 8). In Book I. chapter 6 we get a division "simple, 
pure and absolute." In I. 16 "an absolute Queen or 
an absolute Dutches " appears for our "Queen regnant" 
or " Duchess in her own right." In England the royal 
and kingly majesty was at the first "divided into many 
and sundrie kinges, ech absolutely reigning in his coun- 
tries, not under the subjection of other" (I. 9). "The 
Prince... hath absolutelie in his power the authoritie 
of warre and peace " (II. 3), and his lieutenant may 
have "his royall and absolute power for that time" 
(I. 18). "In warre time, and in the field the Prince 

hath also absolute power, so that his worde is a law 

This absolute power is called marciall lawe — The prince 



useth also absolute power in crying and decreeing the 
mony of the realme by his proclamation onely" (II. 3). 

But the important chapters for our purpose are II. 5 
and II. 8. "By order and usage of Englande there is 
three wayes and maners, whereby absolute and definite 
judgement is given, by parliament which is the highest 
and most absolute, by battle, and by the great assise " 
(II. 5). ^C u The t wo first judgementes be abs_olute 
su preme an jLwjthojil^p^eale_^nd_so is also the jud ge- 
ment by_ die_greg^assise " (II. 8). "Absolut e "there - 
tore would appear to be about equivalent to "without 
appeal," though it is worth noting that one thing may 
\>e more absolute than another. Though judgment by 
parliament, by battle, and by the great assize are all 
"absolute," judgment by parliament is of the three 
" the highest and most absolute." Similarly, in matters 
of foreign diplomacy, we are told that " the kingdome 
of Englande is farre more absolute than either the 
dukedome of Venice is, or the kingdome of the Lace- 
demonians was " (II. 3). 

One is inclined to think that it m ust have been 
a sort~o ?~fashionable catchword, verym uch in the air at. 
the tim eT nTTZ^alnbard,^oFlnstance, a contemporary 
writer dealing with very similar subject-matter, the 
following statement occurs : "The power of the Justice 
of Peace is in some cases Limited, and (in other some 
cases) Absolute : By which latter word, I do not meane 
absolute simply but after a manner: For, they may 
neither hang a man for a greevous Trespas nor fine him 
for a Felonie, and therefore this absolute authoritie is to 
our Law better knowne by the name of Dis creation " 
(Justices of Peace, Bk. I. ch. xi., pub. 1 58 1). The last 
clause of this reads almost as if Lambard were protest- 
ing against a particular contemporary usage, 


— Smith, then, in declaring Parliament to be the most 
high and absolute power of the realm (in time of peace) 
is by no means bringing up for consideration the 
question of sovereignty in the modern sense, or making 
statements which have any direct bearing on the great 
controversy of the next century. Probably he has not 
seriously thought of the King as being likely to come 
into opposition with the Houses in time of peace, any 
more than as likely to come into opposition with the 
rest of the army in time of war. The King is most 
powerful when he is at the head of his army or when he 
is presiding over his parliament. The contrast upon 
which Smith's attention is focussed is not the contrast 
between the powers of the Prince and of the Parliament, 
but between the powers of Parliament and of those other 
courts which he describes in later chapters, and describes 
without any feeling of essential difference between them 
and this the highest court. He is still, in this respect, 
under the influence of traditional theory 1 . We, split- 

1 If we turn, for instance, to Coke's Fourth Part of the Institutes of 
the Laws of England — "concerning the jurisdiction of courts" — we find 
in the preface the following. u Curia hath two severall significations, and 
accordingly it is severally derived. It signifieth the king's court, where his 
royall person, and his honourable household doe reside It also sig- 
nifieth a tribunall. or court of justice, as here it doth, and then it is 

derived a cura, quia est locus, ubi publicas euros gerebant " "Now 

when I considered how much it would tend to the honour of the king's 
majesty, and of his laws, to the advancement of justice, the quiet of the 
subject, and generally to the good of the whole common wealth (no king 
in the Christian world having such tribunals, and seats of justice, as his 
majesty hath, which, God willing, in this treatise we shall make to appear) 
that all the high, honourable, venerable and necessary' tribunals, and courts 
of justice within his majesties realms and dominions, as well civill as 
ecclesiasticall, might be drawn together, as it were, in one map, or table 
(which hitherto was never yet done) that the admirable benefit, beauty, 
and delectable variety thereof might be, as it were, uno intuitu beholden, 
and that the manifold jurisdictions of the same might be distinctly under- 
stood and observed Out of the duty that I owe his most excellent 

Majesty, and my zeal, and affection to the whole common wealth, I have 
adventured to break the ice herein, and to publish more at large those 



ting across our institutions with the sharp hatchet of a 
theory, which declares one body to be properly legis- 
lative, and another properly judicial, find afterwards 
(with some feeling of awkwardness in our theorising, 
and some expressions of regret, perhaps, at the imper- 
fection of the constitution) that we have still to deal 
with legislature-made judicial sentences (such as bills 
of pains and penalties) and with judge-made law. 
Smith, not having so broken up his subject-matter, is 
not under any obligation to spend pains on re-uniting 
the broken pieces. And similarly he has no temptation 
to treat of artificial distinctions between what is small and 
local, on the one hand, and what is large and general, 
on the other. His book has therefore, in these respects, 
a unity which a modern treatise, dealing with a more 
evolved legislature and executive, and a more fully 
differentiated system of central and local administration, 
would be likely to lack. 

But though on certain points we must note that 
our author's ways of thinking are somewhat medieval, 
it is no less a matter of justice to point out how un- 
expectedly modern he can be 1 . Political theory was 

things which in our reading we had observed concerning jurisdiction of 

courts And thus for all our pains, wishing the benevolent reader all 

the profit, we (favente Deo, et auspice Christo) begin with the high and 
most honourable court of Parliament." Then follows the first and longest 
chapter of the book. In one section of it we are reminded "that the 
lords in their house have power of judicature, and the commons in their 
house have power of judicature, and both houses together have power of 
judicature"; another section tells us, of the power and jurisdiction of the 
parliament, that "it is so transcendent and absolute, as it cannot be 
confined either for causes or persons within any bounds"; yet throughout, 
the parliament is treated as a court among other courts, and we find such 
sectional headings as "Acts of Parliament enrolled in other courts." 

1 In the latter part of this introduction I am very largely indebted to 
certain written notes of Professor Maitland's, of which I have been 
permitted to make free use. Some of the succeeding paragraphs are 
almost direct transcripts from those notes. 



very long in emancipating itself from the influence of 
theology. Quotation and inference from Scripture are 
among the strongest arguments which the medieval 
political theorist can bring to bear in support of his 
views. But in Smith there is no suggestion of this. 
There is nothing of the law of God or the law of 
Nature ; no word of the divine right of kings ; and 
if there is a phrase which points in the direction of 
the contractual theory of government that phrase is 
not to be pressed. If scriptural instances are mentioned, 
it is as illustrative matter only, and in order to keep 
before us the comparative nature of our study. A 
fanciful sketch is given of the growth of the state, but 
it is given in an undogmatic way, and the author does 
not use it to prove that one form of government is 
always and everywhere the best. Constitutions may_ 
be likened to shoes, _and each nation_jT>ust get what 
fits jt_best. ^Toreover, we rarely, if ever, find a really 
pure specimen of any of the six forms. What we see 
is some mixture, and we name the specimen after the 
element that prevails in it. Such terms as " monar- 
chical" must be applied to polities as we apply to men 
such terms as "choleric," "sanguine," "melancholy." If 
we call a man "phlegmatic" we do not mean that he 
has no blood and no bile. There is a curiously modern 
strain in all this : a certain naturalism or positivism we 
might call it, which distinguishes Sir Thomas from the 
dealers in divine right and social contracts : a certain 
contentment in relativity and a distrust of the absolute. 
In some important respects he is more modern than 
Hobbes or Locke. Civilian though he is, he is remark- 
ably unjuristic in his method. 

To come to more detailed matter, we find, in his 
treatment of Parliament, that Smith is leaving behind 



the notion of an assembly of estates. In the Parlia- 
ment the bishops are there "for the clergy"; but 
there are only two houses, and Smith, himself in orders, 
sat in the nether house. Of the convocations and their 
grants of taxes, as has been already pointed out, he has 
said nothing ; and in his Erastian way he held that the 
ecclesiastical tribunals had become the Queen's courts 
(III. 9). Altogether, as practical factors we have already 
rather two houses than three estates. Then inherited 
theory demands that somehow or other every English- 
man shall be "intended" — that is, understood — to be 
present in parliament, by himself or his representative. 
How the theory can be fitted to the facts Smith does 
not explain ; but we observe that he does not have 
recourse to a representation of communities. The 
communities of the land — the counties and towns as 
organized bodies — hardly appear on the surface of his 
book. Here again he is advancing. But there is a 
certain lack of clearness in his view. For the Harrison 
chapters have given us an unrepresented, because vote- 
less, class; whereas in Bk. II. c. 1, we find that every 
one is represented. "For everie Englishman is en- 
tended to bee there present, either in person or by 
procuration and attornies, of what preheminence, state, 
dignitie, or qualitie soever he be, from the Prince (be 
he King or Queene) to the lowest person of Englande. 
And the consent of the Parliament is taken to be everie 
mans consent." 

There is a similar contentment with a bare statement 
of more or less disjointed facts when he comes to place 
before us the various powers of Prince and Parliament. 
Their respective functions are given in catalogue form, 
rather than combined under general heads. The settle- 
ment of weights and measures, for instance, belongs 
xxxv i 


to Parliament, but the Prince himself controls the 
coinage. Smith gives us few negative propositions : 
he speaks of what can be done, not of what cannot. 
Usage, it seems, has at certain points defined a bound- 
ary. At certain points — but what of others ? We get 
no general theory — as for instance that the action of 
the Prince should be confined within a sphere that may 
be labelled as "executive" — and so are not enabled to 
solve such questions in advance. Still we may perhaps 
legitimately infer (from I. 7 and II. 1) that the power 
of the English King does not extend to the laying on 
of "impositions." And though Smith has written that 
"the prince is the life, the head, and the authoritie of 
all thinges that be doone in the realme of England" 
(II. 3), we feel that had he foreseen the coming political 
storm his sympathies would have been less with the 
Stuarts than with their opponents. He ungrudgingly 
makes much of the "honor and reverence" that is done 
to an English queen ; as in his patriotic way he tends 
to praise everything in the English institutions that can 
be praised, and to find excuses valiantly for all that is 
open to criticism. But when he wishes to compare the 
powers of Elizabeth with those of foreign rulers it is 
to the doge of Venice and the Lacedaemonian kings 
(II. 3) rather than to the French monarch or the Italian 
princes (I. 7) that he turns for a parallel. Also it is 
a little strange to find a faithful servant of Elizabeth 
suggesting that in the case of "an absolute queen" (or 
queen regnant, as we should say) the shortcomings in- 
separable from her sex, "not accustomed (otherwise) 
to intermeddle with publicke affaires," would be made 
up for by the "counsell of such grave and dis- 
creete men as be able to supplie all other defectes" 
(I. 16). Probably he did not expect his august 



mistress to trouble herself with the reading of his little 

Of any power of suspending laws, or of issuing 
ordinances, except in the matter of the currency, we 
read nothing. Nor do we find any claim that ecclesi- 
astical affairs stand outside the cognizance of Parliament. 
Moreover it is not suggested that the Prince interferes 
in parliamentary elections or in the choice of the Speaker 
— the statement to that effect belongs only to the later 
amplified editions — or that he controls by command 
or "influence" the proceedings of either house. Sir 
Thomas has seen members sent to the Tower for 
speaking " unreverently or seditiouslie against the Prince 
or the privie counsell" (II. 2): but this was done by 
the house itself. 

Yet Smith, though by no means a partizan in his 
statements as to the relative powers of Prince and 
Parliament — indeed he hardly seems aware of the possi- 
bility of conflict — is very far indeed from being un- 
biassed when he appears as a patriotic apologist for 
English ways and English institutions in general. 
There is of course no objectionable swaggering. He 
would fain let the facts, if possible, speak for them- 
selves. But the general effect thus produced is one 
that was bound to be pleasing to English readers. A 
learned man, learned with all the new learning, well 
"seen in the tongues," examines our case. He is not 
one of our common lawyers ; he is a civilian and has 
viewed the great world. Yet hear, for example, what 
he has to say of our system of " pleading to issue," 
which we might have expected him to regard as a 
barbarian labyrinth. "Having," he says, "seene both 
in France and other places manie devises, edictes and 
ordinances howe to abridge proces and to finde howe 


that long suites in law might be made shorter : I have 
not perceived nor reade as yet so wise, so just, and so 
well devised a meane found out as this by any man 
among us in Europe." 

Unfortunately Smith's patriotic bias is not confined 
to the mere expression of eulogiums such as this. 
There are two other passages which deserve more 
serious notice. Smith himself had before the end 
of his life allowed himself on one occasion to be 
over-ruled in the matter of ordering the application 
of torture 1 . Yet he speaks as though torture were 
absolutely unknown in England and abhorred by 
Englishmen. And, further, in saying that bondmen 
had become so few "that it is not almost worth the 
speaking," he is saying, as a Russian scholar' 2 has 
lately shewn us, what was likely to deceive English 

We have apologies also, for such the apologist must 
have felt them to be, for some of our English archaisms, 
for profitable and vendible wardships and marriages, 
for a law of marital property exceedingly unfavourable 
to the wife, for the power of the ordinary over the 
succession to an intestate's goods, for the injustice of 
benefit of clergy, and even for trial by battle. We are 

1 See Ellis's Original Letters, vol. II. p. 261. " I suppose we have 
gotten so much as at this time is like to be had; yet tomorrow do we 
intend to bring a couple of them to the Rack, not in any hope to get any 
thing worthy that pain or fear, but because it is so earnestly commanded 
to us. As for Barker, I thynk he hath and will confess so much as his wit 
will serve him ; and yet, as it appeareth, hath been the most doer betwixt 
the Duke and other foreign practisers. Banister is somewhat obstinate, 
but little he knoweth. We send you his, Barker's, Higford'sand Charles's 
examinations more than you have had already. I pray you trust that 
tomorrow we will do what we can do." (Letter from Smith to Burghley, 
17th Sept. 1571.) 

2 M. Savine. in the Transactions qftbe Royal Historical Society for 1903, 
,: Bondmen under the Tudors." 

c xxxix 


such a military folk, we English — this is the current 
and flattering excuse. In 1565 we English had lately 
lost Calais, failed to storm Leith, evacuated Havre, 
shivered in our shoes lest Spain and France should 
partition Great Britain ; and "pugnacious" would seem 
a better word than "military." 

But though we may note this tendency, this very 
natural tendency (especially in a home-sick ambassador 
ever eager for his recall), to make the best of every- 
thing English, we have no warrant for accusing Smith 
of being so far lacking in good faith as to be secretly 
pamphleteering in any particular cause. A political 
pamphlet would hardly have been kept back so long 
unpublished. Certainly he is not pamphleteering in 
the interest of monarchy ; and if for a moment it 
occurs to us that the Queen's secretary is concerned, 
incidentally to represent her rule as less despotic than 
it really is, and to emphasize the fact that the bad days, 
when military law could be applied in time of peace 
or juries fined for verdicts unsatisfactory to the Crown, 
are clean gone by, we shall at once observe that on the 
other hand he is writing sentences which, if accepted, 
may be awkward impediments in the way of any further 
growth of the prerogative. That he is secretly pam- 
phleteering against the Queen's conduct of affairs and 
intends his readers to perceive a contrast between theory 
and fact would be a wild supposition. No, almost 
certainly, this is how Smith sees, or would fain per- 
suade himself that he sees, the English constitution of 
1565. And, in spite of patriotic bias, his book suggests 
the scientific observer to a greater extent than the 
works of either of his French contemporaries Bodin 
or Hotman, who, in spite of the philosophical or 
quasi-historical forms into which they have cast their 


treatises, are to no slight degree advocates of living 
political causes. 

It has been suggested that while in France Sir Thomas 
may have met and been influenced by the famous Jean 
Bodin. The meeting between them is not impossible. 
It is to be remembered, however, that Smith was by some 
seventeen years the older man, that Bodin's Metbodus 
ad facilem Historiarum Cognitionem was not published 
until 1566, the year after Smith had written his 
Commonwealth^ and that the celebrated treatise De 
la republique did not appear in its French form until 
1576 or in its Latin form until 1586. It is also to be 
observed that the Englishman seems quite unconscious 
that the traditional lore of the various forms of govern- 
ment has been challenged at a most important point. 
If there is any proposition that Bodin is anxious to 
establish as well in his early Metbodus as in his 
mature De Republican surely it is that there are 
three polities and three only — monarchy, aristocracy and 
democracy — and that "mixed forms" are but idle 
conceits. Bodin, so it seems to us, would have re- 
garded Smith as a feeble thinker, and Smith if he had 
been impressed by Bodin's opinions would have felt 
bound to argue for the possibility of "mixed forms" 
rather than quietly to state that all or nearly all the 
polities that appear in real life are more or less mixed. 
On the other hand, Bodin makes no mention of Smith 
in the somewhat lengthy passage in which he proves 
that the English constitution is simply monarchical and 
refuses to our parliaments any share of sovereignty. 
Incidentally he tells how he has obtained certain in- 
formation about England from English ambassadors 
in France ; but the ambassadors whom he names are 
Valentine Dale and Thomas Randolph, who were sent 

c 2 xli 


to France after Smith's return 1 . Bodin himself came 
to England with the Duke of Anjou in 1579, had 
converse with Dr Dale 2 and, discovering that a lecturer 
at Cambridge was already struggling with the French 
text of his book, determined to translate it into Latin 3 . 
The publisher of the Latin version, issued at Paris in 
1586, boasts on the title-page of privileges granted by 
the Emperor, the King of France, and the Queen of 
England. An English translation was published by 
Richard Knolles in 1606, and there can be no doubt 
that this celebrated treatise affected the current of 
political thought in England ; but it did so by attack- 
ing Smith's vague views on the doctrine of sovereignty. 
Intercourse between Smith and Hotman seems as likely 
as intercourse between Smith and Bodin, and the English- 
man would, so it seems to us, have found more to 
approve in the Franco-Gallia than in the Six livres de la 
republique. Some men, Sir Thomas says, "blame Lewes 
the XI. for bringing the administration royall of Fraunce 
from the lawful and regulate raigne to the absolute and 
tyrannicall power and governement " (I. 7). The refer- 
ence may very probably be to Hotman. For Hotman 
definitely dates the era of degeneracy in the French 
judicial system from the time of Louis XI. ; and to 
hold converse with men who maintained opinions of 
this sort was one of the duties of an English ambas- 
sador who went to France in 1562 when the English 
Queen was giving armed aid to the Huguenots. More- 

1 Les six livres de la republique, Lyon, 1593, vol. I. p. 139: "comme 
i'ay sceu de M. Dail, Ambassadeur d'Angleterre, homme d'honneur et de 
scavoir." Ibid. vol. 11. p. 742: "comme i'ay sgeu par l'Ambassadeur 
Randon Anglois." These last words seem not to be represented in the 
Latin text. 

2 De republica libri sex, Paris, 1586, p. 507: " Dalus magister libell- 

3 See the prefatory epistle. 



over there are few points on which Hotman is more 
emphatic than in his assertions that the "reign of 
litigiousness" in France is due to the influence of 
Justinian ; and this we have noted is one of the con- 
trasts in which Smith glories — praising the English 
system for its satisfactory brevity and the little oppor- 
tunity that it affords to "idle whot heades, busie bodies, 
and troublesome men in the common wealth." Hotman 
also, like Smith, recognizes and approves mixed forms 
of government. "For the form of this government" 
(Hotman writes regarding early France) "was the very 
same which the ancient philosophers, and among them 
Plato and Aristotle (whom Polybius imitates), judged 
to be the best and most excellent in the world, as 
being made up and constituted of a mixture and just 
temperament of the three kinds of government, viz. 
the Regal, Noble and Popular" (Eng. trans. 17 11, 

P . 65). 

It has also been surmised that Smith may have 
intended his book chiefly for foreign scholars and 
statesmen — men with whom he had conversed in France 
and their like. But in that case we should have 
expected him to write in Latin. This he could have 
done with ease ; while he cannot have thought that 
many Frenchmen were going to read English. Then 
and later Frenchmen generally believed that even in 
England the English language was but the tongue 
of the vulgar herd. Nor can we say that if Smith 
wrote tor his fellow-countrymen he was not meeting 
a potential demand. When once his book was 
published, new editions were soon called for. At 
this we have no need to be surprised. If the book 
told the Englishman some things about England that 
he knew, and perhaps knew better than its author did, 



it also told him many things that he did not know but 
might like to know. Even in such matters as parlia- 
mentary procedure, the three readings of the bill and 
so forth, we might easily overrate the extent to which 
what Smith tells us was matter of common knowledge 
among the English gentry of the time. 

Turning now from discussion of the subject-matter 
and the purpose of the book we find there are certain 
textual points which require a little attention. 

The text we give is the earliest, — that of 1583, 
which is practically, though not absolutely, identical 
with that of 1584. The spelling varies erratically, 
and in a few places there is a difference of a word or 
two in the reading. But we have also two manuscripts, 
one in the library of Trinity College, Cambridge 1 , and 
the other in the British Museum 2 . These differ con- 
siderably in places from the printed edition, and are 
closer akin to one another than the printed edition is 
to either. The number of petty changes of detail — that 
for which, and for or, a for the, etc. — is enormous, and 
the reproduction of these was thought to be likely to 
serve no good purpose, but rather to obscure the main 
issue. The variations however have all been carefully 
collated, and those which seem to possess any signifi- 
cance are printed in an appendix to the present 
edition. It will be seen that the MSS. occasionally 
give more satisfactory readings than the printed edition, 
as, for instance, when they substitute (in the last sen- 
tence of I. 12) "He againe used no rigour" for "He 
againe used noriture," or (in I. 18) give us "some are 
called lands knights as souldiers of their land not 
hyred" where the printed edition has "lanceknights" 
and "band." Such changes may of course be mere 

1 No. 1504. 2 Harleian 1130. 



conjectural emendations of the copyist ; but they may 
also point to the MSS. being descended in a direct line 
from the author's MS. 1 

The first editions of the De Republica appeared in 
1583 and 1584. In these as well as in the later editions 
we find certain marginal notes. Occasionally we see out 
in the margin some term which is being explained in the 
text, for example, " Monarchia," "Rex," "Tyrannus," 
"Dictatorship," "Just." This happens chiefly in the 
first few pages and is not done systematically ; but the 
same words for the most part are found in the two 
MSS. of the work which have been collated for the 
present edition. Their appearance seems to tell us 
that some one, possibly the author, had set a few catch- 
words in the manuscript that the printer had used. 
But there are marginal notes of a more interesting 
kind, and the question arises whether they can possibly 
be Smith's. A few of them might be called explan- 
atory, but most are corrective 2 , and the corrections are 
hardly of a kind that an author makes in the margin of 
his book. Thus, for example, speaking of the trial of 
a lord by his peers, Smith says, "and for Judge one 
Lord sitteth who is Constable of England for that day." 
In the margin we see "Or rather high steward of 
England." Here if Smith had discovered his own 
mistake and desired to correct it, he might easily 
have done this by substituting "high steward" for 
"constable" in his text. A yet plainer indication is 

1 The reader should note the remarks in the 1583 preface about the 
••often transcripting " of the book and the probable faults committed by 
clerks and writers. 

2 It is perhaps intended to account for their appearance in the 
Preface, where the Editor (or Publisher) mentions that "some termes or 
other matters may seme to dissent from the usual phrase of the common 
lawes of this realme " and finds excuses for the inaccuracies. 



given to us by another note. Sir Thomas believed 
that our English word fee and the medieval feodum or 
feudum were etymologically connected with the Latin 
fides. "This," he says, "is a more likely interpretation 
than that which Litleton doth put in his book, who 
saith that feodum idem est quod htereditas, which it doth 
betoken in no language. This happeneth many times 
to them who be of great wit and learning, yet not 
seen in many tongues, or marketh not the deduction 
of words which time doth alter." Over against this a 
note is printed, "Litleton did not interpret the word 
feodum simply, but rather define or describe the nature 
thereof. Litleton seen in the tongues as Sir Thomas 
Smith was in Litleton." This is censure and there is 
some asperity. The annotator has been ruffled by 
Smith's tone of superiority. Litleton, he says in effect, 
was not dabbling in etymology, and belike he was 
as much a master of the tongues as you are of his 
book. It is censure, and we must add that it is 
deserved censure. Litleton had said nothing that was 
untrue, while Smith plunges on into error misled by the 
fact that in his own day the word, feoffees had begun to 
suggest trusteeship. He had touched a tender point, 
and some zealous worshipper of the sacred text of 
Litleton's Tenures has turned and rent him. 

Whoever the annotator was, he can hardly have 
been a mere literary hack in the pay of the publisher. 
No publisher would wish even to this moderate extent 
to cast disparagement on the work of an author whom 
he was bringing out for the first time. But yet if the 
annotator was at all a well-known or conspicuous person, 
it is a little strange that the fact should not be notified 
on the title-page. 

Further we observe that the annotations in the 1583 


and 1584 editions are not quite identical. The second 
edition omits two of the notes given in the earlier: — 
one at the beginning of II. 16 which reads, "Hundreds 
were named of townes, nils, or other markes"; and 
one towards the end of III. 6, with regard to the 
property which may pass to a woman at her husband's 
death, "She shalbe endowed at the discretion of the 
sherife, except in few cases." But the later edition 
besides other minor alterations inserts four considerable 
notes — those on the etymology of "yeomen," of "con- 
stable," and of "wapentake," and a note in III. 8, "The 
sonnes of freemen of London are also free by birth, 
according to the custome." Two only of the earlier 
notes are etymological, those on "lanceknights" (Brit. 
Mus. MS. "lands knights") and on "Sir"; both of 
which are in I. 18, — "Vere lantzknechti, lancearius : a 
speareman"; and "Sire quasi Senior." There seems 
a possibility that we have two annotators, the later of 
whom has a stronger etymological bent than the earlier. 
We give the marginal notes of the 1583 edition in 
full; excepting the cases where they are mere indi- 
cations of the contents of the text — e.g. "Domus seu 
familia" (I. 11); "Eques auratus. The making of a 
knight" (I. 18). 

Text Note 

...the father and mother sendeth Provining or propagation is when 

them out in couples as it were by a man layeth a branch of a Vine or 
provining or propagation. (I. 12.) Osier, or any other tree into the 

ground, so that it taketh roote of it 
selfe and may live though it be cut 
then from the first roote or stock. 

For the eldest of dukes sonnes Eldest sonnes of dukes are not 

during his fathers life is called an earles by birth, but lordes. and 
earle,... (I. 17.) take their place above earles and so 

are eldest sons in respect of barons. 



Text Note 

Centuriatis comitiis or tributis. Alias tribunitiis. 

(II. I.) 

But in those pleas and pursuites 
of the crowne procurer or advocate 
he [the prisoner] gets none. (II. 9.) 

For that which in the civill la we 
is called actio or formula, we call 
writ in English: so the Greekes 
called it word for word ypa(f>rj, and 
in our barbarous latine we name it 
breve. (II. 9.) 

If in the la we the case seeme to 
the Judges that sitte doubtfull, it is 
called a checker chamber case, and 
all the Judges will meete together, 
and what they shall pronounce to 
be the lawe, that is helde for right. . . . 
(II. 13.) 

If the Sergeants or counsellers 
doe stand upon anie point in the 
law which is not so doubtfull, the 
Judges who be taken for most ex- 
pert biddes him goe forwarde : and 
if he hath no other to say but 
standeth upon that point of lawe, 
that bidding goe forward is taken 
that he looseth his action.... (II. 

...eche partie must agree to the 
other stil in the fact which he can- 
not denie.... (II. 13.) 

The adverse partie or his advo- 
cates which wee call counsellers 
and sergeants interrogateth some- 
time the witnesses, and driveth them 
out of countenance. (II. 15.) 

1 The ouster of this phrase is very low Anglo-French. It should be 
outre (Lat. ultra). The old phrase was Responez outre (Engl. Answer 
over = Find some further and better answer). The change of -r<? into -er 
is common, and a parasitic s need not surprise us. The other ouster 
(Fr. oter) may have influenced the process. (F. W. M.) 


Saving in appels and upon a 
special plea. 

Actio is the parties whole suite. 
Breve is the kings precept. 

But sometimes it is determined 
by the same court onely. 

This shoulde be ment of a re- 
spondes [corr. respondeas] ouster 1 , 
when the opinion is against him 
that taketh an exception that is not 

He may denie it by protestation. 

That is not order but abuse. 



The partie with whom they have 
given their sentence, giveth the en- 
quest their dinner.... (II. 15.) 

But sometime nowe in places 
whereof the hundred hath the name, 
no mention nor memorie of a towne 
remaineth. (II. 16.) 

...his undersherife...must prepare 
against that time tower enquestes of 
xxiiii Yeomen a peece of diverse 
hundredes in the shire, and besides 
one which is called the great en- 
quest out of the bodie of the shire 
mingled with all. (II. 19.) 

So he is called three times in 
diverse countie daies to render him- 
selfe to the lawe. The fourth is 
called the exigent, by which he is 
outlawed not rendring himselfe, as 
ye would say: ex actus or actus in 
exilium. (II. 19.) 

These meetinges. . .be called quar- 
ter sessions or sessions of enquirie, 
because that nothing is there deter- 
mined touching the malefactors, but 
onely thecustodieofthem. (II. 19.) 

But for so much as everie little 
village hath commonly two Con- 
stables, and many times artificers, 
labourers and men of small abilitie 
be chosen. (II. 22.) 

He that claimeth his Clergie, is 
burned foorthwith in the presence 
of the Judges in the brawne of 
his hande...and is delivered to the 
Bishops officer to be kept in the 
Bishops prison, from whence after 
a certaine time by an other enquest 
of Clarkes he is delivered and let at 
large. (II. 23.) 

Courtesie and not dutie. 

Hundreds were named of townes, 
hils, or other markes. 

This is not alwaies and in al 
places observed, but onely concern- 
ing the graund enquest. 

The use of capias and exigent 
upon inditementes is otherwise. 

They are put to fines. 

One or two Constables, 
boroughes or tithingmen. 


The deliverie to the Bishops 
prison, and the purgation is taken 
away by statute 1 . 

■ See Stat. 18 Eliz. c. 7 (1576). (F. W. M.) 




...and if he knowe any private 
man who purchased his incitement, 
and is able to pursue it, he may 
have an action of conspiracie against 
him, and a large amendes. (II. 23.) 


They must be two at the least 
that conspired. 

Impoisoners, if the person die 
thereof, by a newe lawe made in 
King Henrie the eights time shalbe 
boyled to death. (II. 24.) 

And for Judge one Lord sitteth, 
who is Constable of England for 
that day. (II. 25.) 

There must in the attaint no 
more evidence be brought in, but 
only that which was brought in 
and alledged before the first enquest. 
(III. 2.) 

The Prince had before the waste 
of all their lands and possessions 
with other punishments, which at 
this present by a lawe made by par- 
liament in the time of King Henrie 
the eight is abolished. (III. 2.) 

...or to demaunde the triall by 
battle, wherein both the parties 
must either themselves in person, 
or else finde other for them, who 
be called in our Law Champions 
or Campions. (III. 3.) 

...the partie grieved hath these 
two remedies, I say to require 
justice by grand assise, or battle 
upon his appeale. (III. 3.) 

. . .if the riot be found and certified 
to the Kings Counsell, or if other- 
wise it be complained of, the partie 
is sent for, and he must appeare in 
this starre chamber. (III. 4.) 



Or rather high stewarde of 

No more evidence on the behalfe 
of the plaintife, but of the defendant 
there may. 

The statute of 23. Henrie 8. doth 
not abolish common lawe, but giveth 
a more profitable for the plaintife. 

In appeale the battle is tryed by 
the parties onely, and in writs of 
right by champions. 

The battle or Jurie is at the 
election of the defendant. 

Sent for by Subpoena. 



All this while I speake of that 
which is called in French garde 
noble. (III. 5.) 

So he, who had a father, which 
kept a good house, and had all 
things in order to maintaine it, 
shall come to his owne, after he is 
out of wardshippe, woods decayed, 
houses fallen downe, stocke wasted 
and gone, land let foorth and 
plowed to the baren, and to make 
amends, shall pay yet one yeres rent 
for reliefe.... (III. 5.) 

...if he die and she take a hus- 
bande of a meaner estate by whom 
she shall not be called Ladie (such 
is the honour we doe give to 
women) she shall still be called 
Ladie with the surname of her first 
husbande and not of the seconde. 
(III. 6.) 

...if the wife be enheretrix and 
bring lande with her to the mariage, 
that lande descendeth to her eldest 
sonne, or is divided among her 
daughters. Also the manner is, 
that the lande which the wife 
bringeth to the mariage or pur- 
chaseth afterwardes, the husbande 
can not sell nor alienate the same.... 
(III. 6.) 

Likewise if the husbande... die 
before the wife... she shall holde 
the one thirde part of his landes 
during her life as her dowrie, 
whether he had childe by her or 
no. (III. 6.) 

This is a more likely interpreta- 
tion than that which Litleton doeth 
put in his booke.... (III. 8.) 


Gardian in chevalrie, and gardian 
in Socage. 

But the Lorde shalbe punished 
for the wast, by losse of the ward : 
or treble damages, if that suffice 

She is no Ladie by the law al- 
though so called of courtisie. 

It is avoidable after the hus- 
bandes death, except it be for xxi 
yeares or three lives according to 
the statute, or except they levie a 

She shalbe endowed at the dis- 
cretion of the sherife, except in few 

Litleton did not interpret the 
word feodum simply, but rather 
define or describe the nature there- 
of. Litleton seene in the tongues as 
Sir Thomas Smith was in Litleton. 



Text Note 

...whosoever sueth for any thing Which ought to be tried in the 

to Rome or in any spirituall court temporall court, 
for that cause or action which may 
be pleaded in the temporall court of 
the Realme, by an olde lawe of 
Englande he falleth into a prae- 
munire.... (III. 9.) 

The book, it is clear, has come in 1583 into the hands 
of someone who thinks, and, so it seems to us, rightly 
thinks, that he can correct Smith's law. The annotator 
of the 1584 edition it may be noted (whether he be the 
same as the earlier annotator or not, is not clear) has 
a leaning towards etymology, and it may be worth our 
while to notice the places at which he expresses dissent. 
There is the difficult yeoman. Smith observes that in 
c 'lowe dutch" yonker betokens "a meane gentleman or 
a gay fellow," and he suggests that our yeomen serving 
in the wars picked up this term and applied it in the 
form of "yonker man" to each other "by mockage or 
in sport." The annotator disagrees. He holds that 
"yonker commeth of young herre which is a son and heire 
to a gentleman, or a young gentleman" ; and he thinks 
that our yeoman derives from yeman, which in the Saxon 
is a married man. As to constable, Smith favours 
kinnyngstable ', "as ye would say a man established by 
the king." The annotator accepts kinnyngstable ', but 
takes this to mean regia virgula, the rod or wand signi- 
fying the king's power or authority, represented among 
us by the constable's staff. Then as to scaccarium, Smith 
does not seem to see that there is any etymological 
connection with exchequer and tells us that, according to 
some, it should be statarium, because in the exchequer 
was the stable place to account for the revenues of 
the crown. On the other hand, the annotator says 


that "scats in ancient Saxon is that which we by a 
borowed terme call tresure, whereof is derived Scac- 
carium signifying a court dealing with the kinges trea- 
sure or revenues, and also escaetor^ that is an officer 
which imploieth the kinges profit." These notes seem 
to proceed from a man who himself is "seen in the 
tongues," and whence he got his scats, if by "ancient 
Saxon" he meant a language once spoken in England, 
might, we take it, be a curious inquiry 1 . 3 ^cx^ 

So much for our earliest editions of the text. The 
consideration of the later, together with certain "ad- 
ditional matter" which is incorporated in them, is 
reserved for an appendix. A second appendix presents 
the passages in Harrison of which Smith seems to have 
availed himself in his revision of his first manuscript ; 
and the more important variant readings of the text 
which are furnished by the MSS. at Trinity College, 
Cambridge, and at the British Museum are given in a 

1 For sceatt see Chadwick, Anglo-Saxon Institutions, p. 7. 




The maner of Governement or 

policie of the Realme of Eng- 
land, compiled by the Honora- 
ble Sir Thomas Smyth Knight, 
Doctor of both the lawes, and 
one of the principal Secre- 
taries unto the two most wor- 
thy Princes, King Edward 
the sixt, and Queene 

Seene and allowed, 


Printed by Henrie Midleton 

for Gregorie Seton, 

Anno Domini 

To the Reader 

TO conceale the graces inspired by God, or the 
giftes ingraffed by nature, or the vertues at- 
chived unto ourselves by Industrie, in all ages and of 
all wise men was accounted unduetifulnesse, unkind- 
nesse & impietie unto that commonwealth, in the 
which, and unto the which we are both bred and borne : 
but to suppresse the worthie works of any author, may 
justly be judged not only injurie to the person, but 
even envie at the whole world. Wherefore chauncing 
upon this short discourse compiled by the honorable 
knight sir Thomas Smyth, and considering that the 
same could not but be a great light unto the ignorant, 
& no lesse delight unto the learned in the lawes and 
policie of sundrie regiments : I thought it part of my 
dutie, aswel for reviving of the fame of so notable 
a man, as for the publike imparting of so pythie a 
treatise, to present the same unto thy indifferent and 
discreete judgement. Wherein although the errors & 
rashnes of Scribes, appearing in the contrarietie & cor- 
ruption of coppies, happening both by the length of 
time sithens the first making, as also by the often 
transcripting might justly have been mine excuse or 
rather discourage : yet weying the authoritie of the 

A 2 X 


author togither with the gravitie of the matter, I made 
no doubt but that the reverence due unto the one, & 
the recompence deserved by the other would easily 
countervail all faults committed by a clarke & writer. 
And whereas some termes or other matters may seme 
to dissent from the usual phrase of the common lawes 
of this realme : notwithstanding to him that will con- 
sider that the profession of the maker was principally 
in the civil lawes, and therefore not to be expected as 
one excellent in both, & also that the finishing of this 
worke was in Fraunce farre from his librarie, and in an 
ambassad even in the midst of waightie affaires, it cannot 
nor ought not without great ingratitude be displesant 
or in any sort disliking. Wherefore (gentle Reader) 
accept in good part my zeale and this honorable mans 
travaile : assuring thy self that the same framed by an 
expert workemaister, and forged of pure and excellent 
mettall, will not faile in prooving to be a right com- 
modious instrument. Vale. 


Table of all the principall 

matters contained in 
this Booke. 

OF the diversities of common wealthes or govemements. Chapter i. 
Pagina 9. 
What is just or Lawe in everie common wealth or governement. cap. 2. 

pag. 10. 
An other division of common wealthes. chap. 3. pag. 11. 

Example of chaunges in the manner of governement chap. 4. pag. 13. 
Of the question what is right and just in everie common wealth, chap. 5. 

pag. 13. 
That common wealths or govemements are not (most commonly) simple 

but mixt. chap. 6. pag. 14. 

The definition of a King and of a Tyrant chap. 7.^ pag. 14. 

Of the absolute king. chap. 8. / ' pag. 16. 

Of the name king and the administration of England, chap. 9. pag. 18. 
What is a common wealth, and the partes thereof, chap. 10. pag. 20. 
The first sort or beginning of an house or familie called olnovofxia. 

chap. 11. pag. 22. 

The first & natural beginning of a kingdome, in Greeke /3a<riAfia. 

chap. 12. pag. 23. 

The first and naturall beginning of the rule of a fewe of the best men 

called in Greeke. \\pio~roK.paria. ca. 13. pa. 25. 

The first originall or beginning of the rule of the multitude called HoXireia 

or Ar)noKparla. chap. 14. pag. 26. 

That the common wealth or policie must be according to the nature 

of the people, chap. 15. pag. 28. 

The division of partes and persons of the common wealths, chap. 16. 

pag. 29. 
The first part of Gentlemen of England called Nobilitas major, chap. 17. 

pag. 31. 
Of the second sort of Gentlemen of England called Nobilitas minor, and 

first of knights, chap. 18. pag. 32. 



Of Esquiers. chap. 19. pag. 37. 

Of Gentlemen, chap. 20. pag. 38. 
Whether the maner of Englande in making Gentlemen so easilie is to be 

allowed, chap. 21. pag. 40. 

Of Citizens and Burgesses, chap. 22. pag. 41. 

Of Yeomen, chap. 23. pag. 42. 

Of the fourth sort of men which do not rule. ca. 24. p. 46. 

The second booke. 

OF the Parliament and authoritie therof. ca. 1. pa. 48. 

The forme of holding the parliament, ca. 2. pa. 49. 

Of the Monarch, King or Queene of England, ca. 3. p. 58. 

The chiefe points wherein one common wealth doeth differ from an other. 

chap. 4. pag. 63. 

Of the three maners and formes of trials or judgements in England. 

chap. 5. pag. 64. 

Triall or judgement by Parliament, chap. 6. pag. ead. 

Triall of judgement by battle, chap. 7. pag. ead. 

The triall by Assise or xij. men, & first of the three parts which be 

necessarie in judgement, chap. 8. pag. 65. 

Of Pleas or A6lions. chap. 9. pag. 66. 

Of the chiefe Tribunals, Benches or Courtes of England, chap. 10. 

pag. 68. 
Of the times of pleading called Termes, and of the Chauncellor and 

Chauncerie. chap. 11. pag. 69. 

Of Judges in the common lawe of Englande, and the maner of triall and 

pleading there, chap. 12. pag. 72. 

Of the two maner of issues, chap. 13. pag. 73. 

Of the Sheriffe of the shire and of the Court of the Escheker. chap. 14. 

pag. 75- 
Of the xij. men. chap. 15. pag. 78. 

Of parts of Shires called hundreds, lathes, rapes, wapentakes, chap. 16. 

pag. 81. 
Of the Court Baron, chap. 17. pag. 82. 

Of the Leete or Laweday. chap. 18. pag. 84. 



Of the proceedings in causes criminall, and first of the Justices of the 

peace, chap. 19. pag. 85. 

Of hue and crie and recognisaunce taking upon them that may give 

evidence, chap. 20. pag. 90. 

Of the Coroner, chap. 21. pag. 91. 

Of the Constables, chap. 22. pag. 92. 

Of the sessions of gaole deliverie, & the definitive proceedings in causes 

criminall. chap. 23. pag. 94. 

Certaine orders peculiar to England, touching punishment of malefaftors. 

chap. 24. pag. 104. 

Of treason and the triall which is used for the higher Nobilitie and Barons. 

chap. 25. pag. 106. 

The third bookg. 

OF that which in other countries is called appellation or provocation, 
to amend the judgement or sentence definitive, which is thought 
unjustly given in causes criminall. chap. 1. pag. 108. 

What remedie is if the sentence be thought unjustly given, chap. 2. 

pag. no. 
Of that which in Englande is called appeale, in other places accusation, 
chap. 3. pag. 113. 

Of the Court of Starre chamber, chap. 4. pag. 115. 

Of the Courts of Wards and Liveries, chap. 5. pag. 119. 

Of Wives and mariages. chap. 6. pag. 123. 

Of Children, chap. 7. pag. 128. 

Of Bondage and bondmen, chap. 8. pag. 130. 

Of the court which is Spiritual or Ecclesiasticall. and (in the booke of 
Lawe) Court Christian, or Curia Cbristianitatii . chap. 9. pag. 139. 





The maner of governement or 

policie of the Realme of 

Of the diversities of common 
wealthes or governement. 

Chap. i. 

THey that have written heretofore of Common 
wealthes, have brought them into three most 
simple and speciall kindes or fashions of governement. 
The first where one alone doth governe, is called of 
the Greekes Moi/ap^ta, the second, where the smaller 
number, commonly called of them ' ApiaTOKparux^ and 
the thirde where the multitude doth rule ArjfiofcpaTia. 
To rule, is understoode to have the highest and su- 
preme authoritie of commaundement. That part or 
member of the common wealth is saide to rule which 
doth controwle, correct, and direct all other members 
of the common wealth. That part which doth rule, 
define and commaund according to the forme of the 
governement, is taken in everie common wealth to be 
just and lawe : As a rule is alway to be understoode 



to be straight, and to which all workes be to be con- 
formed, and by it to be judged : I doe not meane the 
Lesbians rule which is conformed to the stone : but 
the right rule whereby the Artificer and the Architect 
doe judge the straightnesse of everie mans worke, he to 
be reckoned to make his worke perfectest, who goeth 
neerest to the straightnesse. 

What is just or Lawe in everie com- 
mon wealth or governement. 

Chap. 2. 

NOwe it doth appeare, that it is profitable to everie 
common wealth (as it is to every thing generally 
and particularly) to be kept in her most perfect estate. 
Then if that part which doth beare the rule, doe 
commaund that which is profitable to it, and the 
commaundement of that part which doeth rule on that 
sort, is to be accepted in every common wealth re- 
spectively to be just (as we have said before) : it must 
needes follow, that the definition which Thrasimachus 
did make, that to be just which is the profite of the 
ruling and most strong part (if it be meant of the 
Citie or common wealth) is not so farre out of the 
way, (if it be civillie understoode) as Plato would 
make it. But as there is profitable and likelyhoode of 
profite, so there is right and likelyhoode of right. And 
as well may the ruling and Soveraigne part com- 
maund that which is not his profite, as the just man 
may offend (notwithstanding his just and true meaning) 
when he would amend that which is amisse, and helpe 
the common wealth, and doe good unto it. For in 


asmuch as he attempteth to doe contrarie to the Lawe 
which is alreadie put, he therefore by the lawe is 
justly to be condemned, because his doing is contrarie 
to the lawe and the ordinance of that part which 
doth commaunde. 

An other division of common wealthes. 
Chap. 3. 

BUt this matter yet taketh an other doubt : for of 
these maner of rulinges by one, by the fewer 
part, and by the multitude or greater number, they 
which have more methodically and more distinctly and 
perfectly written upon them, doe make a subdivision : 
and dividing eche into two, make the one good and 
just, and the other evill and unjust : as, where one 
ruleth, the one they call a king or Bao-tXei'?, the 
other Tvpavvos, a tyrant : where the fewer number, 
the one they name a governing of the best men dpc- 
a-TOKpariaVj or Kemp, optimatum, the other of the 
usurping of a few Gentlemen, or a few of the richer 
and stronger sort 6\vyapxiav> or Paucorum potestatem : 
and where the multitude doth governe, the one they 
call a common wealth by the generall name voXcTeiaVy 
or the rule of the people A^/xo/cpaTiav, the other the 
rule or the usurping of the popular or rascall and viler 
sort, because they be moe in number Arjfio/cpciTLav 



Example of chaunges in the maner 

of Governement. 
Chap. 4. 

IN common wealthes which have had long con- 
tinuance, the diversities of times have made all 
these maners of ruling or government to be seene : As 
in Rome : kinges, Romulus, Numa, Servius : tyrantes, 
Tarquinius, Sylla, Casar : the rule of best men, as in 
time when the first Consuls were : and the usurping 
of a few, as of the Senators after the death of Tarqui- 
niusy and before the succession of the Tribunate, and 
manifestly in the Decemvirate, but more perniciously 
in the Triumvirate of Ccesar, Crassus, and Pompeius : 
and afterwarde in the Triumvirate of Octavius, Anto- 
nius, and Lepidus : The common wealth and rule of 
the people, as in the expulsing of the decemviri and 
long after, especially after the law was made, either 
by Horatius, or (as some would have it) Hortentius, 
quod plebs sciverit, id populum teneat : And the ruling 
and usurping of the popular and rascall, as a litle before 
Scylla his reigne, and a litle before Caius C&sars reigne. 
For the usurping of the rascality can never long en- 
dure, but necessarily breedeth, and quickly bringeth 
forth a tyrant. Of this, hath Athens, Syracuse, Lace- 
demon and other old auncient ruling Cities had ex- 
perience, and a man neede not doubt but that other 
common wealthes have followed the same rate. For 
the nature of man is never to stand still in one maner 
of estate, but to grow from the lesse to the more, 
and decay from the more againe to the lesse, till it 
come to the fatall end and destruction, with many 


turnes and turmoyles of sicknesse and recovering, sel- 
dome standing in a perfect health, neither of a mans 
bodie it selfe, nor of the politique bodie which is com- 
pact of the same. 

Of the question what is right and just in 
everie common wealth. 

Chap. 5. 

SO when the common wealth is evill governed by 
an evill ruler and unjust (as in the three last 
named which be rather a sickenesse of the politique bodie 
than perfect and good estates) if the lawes be made, 
as most like they be alwayes to maintaine that estate : 
the question remaineth whether the obedience of them 
be just, and the disobedience wrong : the profit and 
conservation of that estate right and justice, or the 
dissolution : and whether a good and upright man, and 
lover of his countrie ought to maintaine and obey 
them, or to seeke by all meanes to abolish them, which 
great and hautie courages have often attempted : as 
Dion to rise up against Dionysius, Thrasibulus against 
the xxx. tyrantes, Brutus and Casstus against Ceesar, 
which hath bin cause of many commotions in common 
wealthes, whereof the judgement of the common 
people is according to the event and successe : of them 
which be learned, according to the purpose of the 
doers, and the estate of the time then present. Cer- 
taine it is that it is alwayes a doubtfull and hasardous 
matter to meddle with the chaunging of the lawes 
and governement, or to disobey the orders of the rule 
or government, which a man doth finde alreadie 



That common wealthes or governements 

are not most commonly simple but mixt. 
Chap. 6. 

NOw although the governements of common 
wealthes be thus divided into three, and cutting 
ech into two, so into sixe : yet you must not take that 
ye shall finde any common wealth or governement 
simple, pure and absolute in his sort and kinde, but as 
wise men have divided for understandinges sake and 
fantasied iiij. simple bodies which they call elementes, 
as fire, ayre, water, earth, and in a mans bodie foure 
complexions or temperatures, as cholericke, sanguine, 
phlegmatique, and melancolique : not that ye shall 
finde the one utterly perfect without mixtion of the 
other, for that nature almost will not suffer, but under- 
standing doth discerne ech nature as in his sinceritie: 
so seldome or never shall you finde common wealthes 
or governement which is absolutely and sincerely made 
of any of them above named, but alwayes mixed with 
an other, and hath the name of that which is more 
and overruleth the other alwayes or for the most part. 

The definition of a king and of a tyrant. 

Chap. 7. 

WHere one person beareth the rule they define 
that to be the estate of a king, who by suc- 
cession or election commeth with the good will of the 
people to that governement, and doth administer the 
common wealth by the lawes of the same and by 
equitie, and doth seeke the profit of the people as much 


as his owne. A tyraunt they name him, who by force 
commeth to the Monarchy against the will of the people, 
breaketh lawes alreadie made at his pleasure, maketh 
other without the advise and consent of the people, 
and regardeth not the wealth of his communes but 
the advancement of him selfe, his faction, and kindred. 
These definitions do containe three differences: the 
obtaining of the authoritie, the maner of administra- 
tion thereof, and the butte or marke whereunto it 
doth tend and shoote. So as one may be a tyrant by 
his entrie and getting of the governement, and a king 
in the administration thereof. As a man may thinke 
of Octavius and peradventure of Sylla. For they both 
comming by tyranny and violence to that state, did 
seeme to travaile verie much for the better order of 
the common wealth, howbeit either of them after 
a diverse maner. An other may be a king by entrie, 
and a tyrant by administration, as Nero, Domitian, and 
Commodus: for the empire came to them by succession, 
but their administration was utterly tyrannicall, of Nero 
after five yeares, of Domitian and Commodus very shortly 
upon their new honour. Some both in the comming 
to their Empire, and in the butte which they shoote 
at, be kings, but the maner of their ruling is tyran- 
nicall: as many Emperous after Casar and Octavius, 
and many Popes of Rome. The Emperours claime 
this tyrannicall power by pretence of that Rogation 
or plebiscitum, which Caius Casar or Octavius obtained, 
by which all the people of Rome did conferre their 
power and authority unto Caesar wholly. 

The Pope groundeth his from Christ (cut omnis 
potestas data est in coelo et in terra) whose successor he 
pretendeth to be: yet the generall Councels make a 



strife with him, to make the Popes power either 
Aristocratian or at the least legitimum regnum, and would 
faine bridle that absolutam potestatem. Some men doe 
judge the same of the kinges of Fraunce, and certaine 
Princes of Italie and other places, because they make 
and abrogate lawes and edictes, lay on tributs and 
impositions of their own will, or by the private 
Counsell and advise of their friends and favorites 
onely, without the consent of the people. The people 
I call that which the word populus doth signifie, the 
whole body and the three estates of the common 
wealth: and they blame Lewes the xi. for bringing 
the adminstration royall of Fraunce, from the lawful 
and regulate raigne, to the absolute and tyrannicall 
power and governement. He himselfe was wont to 
glory and say, he had brought the crowne of Fraunce 
bors de page, as one would say out of Wardship. 

Of the absolute King. 

Chap. 8. 

OTher do call that kinde of administration which 
the Greekes do call, irafifiaaiXeiav, not tyran- 
ny, but the absolute power of a King, which they 
would pretende that everie King hath, if he would use 
the same. The other they call ftaaikelav vofu/crjv 
or the Royall power regulate by lawes : of this I will 
not dispute at this time. But as such absolute ad- 
ministration in time of warre when all is in armes, 
and when lawes hold their peace because they cannot 
be heard, is most necessarie: so in time of peace, the 
same is verie daungerous, aswell to him that doth use 


it, and much more to the people upon whom it is 
used : whereof the cause is the frailtie of mans nature, 
which (as Plato saith) cannot abide or beare long that 
absolute and uncontrowled authoritie, without swelling 
into too much pride and insolencie. And therefore the 
Romanes did wisely, who woulde not suffer any man 
to keepe the Dictatorship above sixe monethes, because 
the Dictators (for that time) had this absolute power, 
which some Greekes named a lawfull tyrannie for a 
time. As I remember, Aristotle, (who of all writers 
hath most absolutely and methodically treated of the 
division and natures of common wealthes) maketh this 
sort of government to be one kind of kings. But all 
commeth to one effect : for at the first, all kinges ruled 
absolutely, as they who were either the heades and 
most ancient of their families, derived out of their 
own bodies, as Adam, Noa, Abraham, "Jacob, Esau, 
reigning absolutely over their owne children and bond- 
men as reason was : or else in the rude world amongest 
barbarous and ignorant people, some one then whom 
God had endewed with singular wisedome to invent 
thinges necessary for the nourishing and defence of the 
multitude, and to administer justice did so farre excell 
other, that all the rest were but beastes in comparison 
of him, and for that excellencie willingly had this 
authoritie given him of the multitude, and of the 
Gentils when he was dead and almost when he was 
yet living, was taken for a God, of others for a Pro- 
phet. Such among the Jewes were Moses, Josua, and 
the other Judges, as Samuel, &c. Romulus and Numa 
amongest the Romanes, Lycurgus and Solon and diverse 
other among the Greekes, Zamolxis among the Thra- 
cians, Mahomet among the Arabians: And this kinde 

b 17 


of rule among the Greekes is called rvpavvi<i, which 
of it selfe at the first was not a name odious: But 
because they who had such rule, at the first, did for 
the most part abuse the same, waxed insolent and 
proude, unjust and not regarding the common wealth, 
committed such actes as were horrible and odious, as 
killing men without cause, abusing their wives and 
daughters, taking and spoyling all mens goods at their 
pleasures, and were not shepheardes as they ought to 
be, but rather robbers and devourers of the people, 
wherof some were contemners of God, as Dionysius, 
other while they lyved like divils, and would yet be 
adored and accompted for Gods, as Caius Caligula and 
Domitian : that kind of administration and maner also, 
at the first not evill, hath taken the signification and 
definition of the vice of the abusers, so that now both 
in Greeke, Latine, and English a tyrant is counted he, 
who is an evill king, and who hath no regard to the 
wealth of his people, but seeketh onely to magnifie 
himselfe and his, and to satisfie his vicious and cruell 
appetite, without respect of God, of right or of the 
law: because that for the most part they who have 
Jiad that absolute power have beene such. 

Of the name king and thadministra- 

tion of Englande. 
Chap. 9. 

THat which we call in one syllable king in english, 
the olde english men and the Saxons from 
whom our tongue is derived to this day calleth in 
two syllabes cyning y which whether it cometh of cen 
or ken which betokeneth to know and understand, or 


can, which betokeneth to be able or to have power, 
I can not tell. The participle absolute of thone we 
use yet, as when we say a cunning man, Fir prudens 
aut sciens : the verbe of thother as I can do this, possum 
hoc facere. By olde and auncient histories that I have 
red, I do not understand that our nation hath used 
any other generall authoritie in this realme neither 
Aristocratically nor Democratically but onely the royall 
and kingly majestie which at the first was divided into 
many and sundrie kinges, each absolutely reigning in 
his countrie, not imder the subjection of other, till by 
fighting thone with thother, the overcommed alwayes 
falling to the augmentation of the vanquisher and 
overcommer, at the last the realme of England grew 
into one Monarchic Neither any one of those 
kinges, neither he who first had all, tooke any in- 
vestiture at the hand of Themperour of Rome or of 
any other superiour or forraine prince, but helde 
of God to himselfe, and by his sword his people 
and crowne, acknowledging no prince in earth his 
superiour, and so it is kept and holden at this day. 
Although king John (by the rebellion of the nobilitie 
ayded with the daulphin of Fraunce his power) to 
appease the Pope who at that time possessing the 
consciences of his subjectes was then also his enemy 
and his most greevous torment (as some histories do 
write) did resigne the crowne to his legate Pandulphus, 
and tooke it againe from him as from the Pope by 
faith and homage, and a certain tribute yearly. But 
that act being neither approoved by his people, nor 
established by act of parliament, was forthwith and 
ever sithens taken for nothing, either to binde the king, 
his successors or subjectes. 

B2 19 

What is a common wealth, and the 

partes thereof. 
Chap. io. 

TO be better understood hereafter, it is necessarie 
yet to make a third division of the common 
wealth by the partes thereof. A common wealth is 
called a society or common doing of a multitude of 
free men collected together and united by common 
accord and covenauntes among themselves, for the 
conservation of themselves aswell in peace as in warre. 
For properly an host of men is not called a common 
wealth but abusively, because they are collected but 
for a time and for a fact: which done, ech divideth 
himselfe from others as they were before. And if one 
man had as some of the old Romanes had (if it be 
true that is written) v. thousande or x. thousande 
bondmen whom he ruled well, though they dwelled 
all in one citie, or were distributed into diverse 
villages, yet that were no common wealth : for the 
bondman hath no communion with his master, the 
wealth of the Lord is onely sought for, and not 
the profit of the slave or bondman. For as they who 
write of these thinges have defined, a bondman or a 
slave is as it were (saving life and humane reason) but 
the instrument of his Lord, as the axe, the sawe, the 
chessyll and gowge is of the charpenter. Truth it 
is the charpenter looketh diligently to save, correct and 
amend all these: but it is for his own profit, and in 
consideration of him selfe, not for the instrumentes sake. 
And as these be instruments of the charpenter, so the 
plow, the cart, the horse, oxe or asse, be instrumentes 



of the husbandman : and though one husbandman had 
a great number of all those and looked well to them, 
it made no common wealth nor could not so be called. 
For the private wealth of the husbandman is onely 
regarded, and there is no mutuall societie or portion, 
no law or pleading betweene thone and thother. And 
(as he sayth) what reason hath the pot to say to the 
potter, why madest thou me thus? or why dost thou 
break me after thou hast made me? even so is the 
bondman or slave which is bought for monie: for he 
is but a reasonable and lyving instrument the possession 
of his Lorde and master, reckoned among his goods, 
not otherwise admitted to the societie civill or common 
wealth, but is part of the possession and goods of his 
Lorde. Wherefore except there be other orders and 
administrations amonst the Turks, if the prince of 
the Turkes (as it is written of him) doe repute all 
other his bondmen and slaves (him selfe and his sonnes 
onely freemen) a man may doubt whether his ad- 
ministration be to be accompted a common wealth or 
a kingdome, or rather to be reputed onely as one that 
hath under him an infinite number of slaves or bond- 
men among whom there is no right, law nor common 
wealth compact, but onely the will of the Lorde and 
segnior. Surely none of the olde Greekes would call 
this fashion of government Remp. or TroXirelav for 
the reasons which I have declared before. 



The first sort or beginning of an house 

or familie called otKovofiia. 
Chap. ii. 

THen if this be a societie, and consisteth onely of 
freemen, the least part therof must be of two. 
The naturalest and first conjunction of two toward 
the making of a further societie of continuance is of 
the husband and of the wife after a diverse sorte ech 
having care of the familie : the man to get, to travaile 
abroad, to defender the wife, to save that which is 
gotten, to tarrie at home to distribute that which 
commeth of the husbandes labor for the nurtriture of 
the children and family of them both, and to keepe 
all at home neat and cleane. So nature hath forged 
ech part to his office, the man sterne, strong, bould, 
adventerous, negligent of his beautie, and spending. 
The women weake, fearefull, faire, curious of her 
bewtie and saving. Either of them excelling other 
in wit and wisedome to conduct those thinges which 
appertaine to their office, and therefore where their 
wisedome doth excell, therein it is reason that ech 
should governe. And without this societie of man, 
and woman, the kinde of man coulde not long endure. 
And to this societie men are so naturally borne that 
the prince of all Philosophers in consideration of 
natures was not afraide to say that a man by nature 
is rather desirous to fellow himselfe to another and so 
to live in couple, than to adherd himselfe with many. 
Although of all thinges or lyuing creatures a man doth 
shew him selfe most politique, yet can he not well live 
without the societie and fellowship ciuill. He that can 


live alone saith Aristotle is either a wild beast in 
a mans likenes, or else a god rather than a man. So 
in the house and familie is the first and most naturall 
(but private) apparance of one of the best kindes of 
a common wealth, that is called Aristocratia where 
a few and the best doe governe, and where not one 
alwaies: but sometime and in some thing one, and 
sometime and in some thing another doth beare the 
rule. Which to maintaine for his part God hath 
given to the man great wit, bigger strength, and more 
courage to compell the woman to obey by reason or 
force, and to the woman bewtie, faire countenaunce, 
and sweete wordes to make the man to obey her againe 
for love. Thus ech obeyeth and commaundeth other, 
and they two togeather rule the house. The house 
I call here the man, the woman, their children, their 
servauntes bonde and free, their cattell, their hous- 
holde stuffe, and all other things, which are reckoned 
in their possession, so long as all these remaine 
togeather in one, yet this cannot be called Aristocratia^ 
but Metaphorice, for it is but an house, and a litle sparke 
resembling as it were that governement. 

The first and naturall beginning of a 

kingdome in Greeke /3a<Ti\eia. 
Chap. 12. 

BUt for so much as it is the nature of all thinges 
to encrease or decrease, this house thus en- 
creasing and multiplying by generation, so that it 
cannot wel be comprehended in one habitation, and 
the children waxing bigger, stronger, wiser, and there- 



upon naturally desirous to rule, the father and mother 
sendeth them out in couples as it were by provining 
or propagation. And the childe by manage beginneth 
as it were to roote towards the making of a new 
stocke, and thereupon an other house or familie. So 
by this propagation or provining first of one, and 
then another, and so from one to another in space of 
time, of many howses was made a streete or village, 
of many streetes and villages joyned together a citie or 
borough. And when many cities, boroughes and 
villages were by common and mutuall consent for 
their conservation ruled by that one and first father 
of them all, it was called a nation or kingdome. And 
this seemeth the first and most natural beginning and 
source of cities, townes, nations, kingdomes, and of all 
civill societies. For so long as the great grandfather 
was alive and able to rule, it was unnaturall for any 
of his sonnes or ofspring to strive with him for the 
superioritie, or to go about to governe or any wise to 
dishonour him from whom he had received life and 
being. And therefore such a one doth beare the first 
and natural example of an absolute and perfect king. 
For he loved them as his owne children and nephewes, 
cared for them as members of his owne body, provided 
for them as one having by long time more experience 
than any one or all of them. They againe honoured 
him as their father of whose bodie they came, obeyed 
him for his great wisedome and forecast, went to him 
in doubtfull cases as to an oracle of God, feared his 
curse and malediction as proceeding from Gods owne 
mouth. He againe used noriture: for ech paine put 
upon them, he esteemed as laide upon himselfe. 



The first and naturall beginning of the rule 

of a few of the best men called in Greeke 


Chap. 13. 

BUt when that great grandfather was dead, the 
sonnes of him and brethren among themselves 
not having that reverence to any, nor confidence of 
wisedome in any one of them, nor that trust thone 
to thother, betweene whome (as many times it fareth 
with brethren) some strifes and brawlinges had before 
arisen : To defende themselves yet from them which 
were walsh and strangers, necessarily agreed among 
themselves to consult in common, and to beare rule 
for a time in order, now one, now another: so that 
no one might beare alwaies the rule, nor any one be 
neglected. And by this meanes if anie one fayled 
during his yere or time by ignoraunce, the next (being 
either wiser of himselfe, or else by his brothers error 
and fault) amended it. And in the meane while, at 
diverse and most times when urgent necessitie did 
occurre, they consulted all those heads of families 
together within themselves, howe to demeane and order 
their matters, best for the conservation of themselves, and 
ech of their families, generally and particularly. Thus 
a few being heades and the chiefe of their families, 
equall in birth and nobilitie, and not much different 
in riches, governed their owne houses and the descen- 
dentes of them particularly, and consulted in common 
upon publike causes, agreeing also upon certaine lawes 
and orders to be kept amongst them. So the best, 



chiefest and sagest did rule, and thother part had no 
cause to strive with them, nor had no cause nor 
apparance to compare with anie of them, neither for 
age nor discretion, nor for riches or nobilitie. The 
rulers sought ech to keepe and maintaine their 
posteritie, as their sonnes and nephewes, and such as 
shoulde succeede them and carie their names when 
they were deade, and so render them being mortall 
by nature immortall by their fame and succession of 
posteritie : having most earnest care to maintaine still 
this their cousinage and common familie aswell against 
forraigne and barbarous nations, which were not of 
their progenie, tongue, or religion, as against wilde and 
savage beasts. This seemeth the naturall source and 
beginning or image of that rule of the fewer number, 
which is called of the Greekes ApicrroKparela and of 
the Latines optimatum respubltca. 

The first originall or beginning of the rule 

of the multitude called iroXtTeia or ArjfxoKparla. 
Chap. 14. 

NOw as time bringeth an ende of all thinges, 
these brethren being all dead, and their ofspring 
encreasing daily to a great multitude, and the reverence 
due the old fathers in such and so great number of 
equals fayling by the reason of the death or doting 
of the Elders: eche owing their merites of education 
apart to their fathers and grandfathers, and so many 
arising and such equalitie among them, it was not 
possible that they should be content to be governed 
by a fewe. For two things being such as for the 


which men in society and league doe most strive, that 
is honour and profitte no man of free courage can be 
contented to be neglected therein, so that they were 
faine of necessitie to come to that, that the more part 
should beare the price away in election of magistrates 
and rulers. So that either by course or by lot ech 
man in turne might be receaved to beare rule and have 
his part of the honour, and (if any were) of the profit, 
which came by administration of the common wealth. 
For whosoever came of that old great grandfathers 
race, he accompted him selfe as good of birth as any 
other. For service to the common wealth all or such 
a number had done it, as they coulde not be accompted 
few. And if a few would take upon them to usurpe 
over the rest, the rest conspiring together would soone 
be master over them, and ruinate them wholly. Where- 
upon necessarily it came to passe that the common 
wealth must turne and alter as before from one to a 
few, so now from a few to many and the most part, 
ech of these yet willing to save the politicke bodie, to 
conserve the authoritie of their nation, to defende them- 
selves against all other, their strife being onely for 
empire and rule, and who should doe best for the 
common wealth, wherof they would have experience 
made by bearing office and being magistrates. This 
I take for the first and naturall beginning of the rule 
of the multitude which the Greekes called Arjfio- 
Kparla: the Latines some Respublica by the generall 
name, some populi potestas, some census potestas, I cannot 
tell howe latinely. 



That the common wealth or policie must 

be according to the nature of the people. 
Chap. 15. 

BY this processe and discourse it doth appeare that 
the mutations and changes of fashions of governe- 
ment in common wealthes be naturall, and do not 
alwayes come of ambition or malice: And that ac- 
cording to the nature of the people, so the common- 
wealth is to it fit and proper. And as all these iii. 
kindes of common wealthes are naturall, so when to 
ech partie or espece and kinde of the people that is 
applied which best agreeth like a garment to the bodie 
or shoe to the foote, then the bodie politique is in 
quiet, and findeth ease, pleasure and profit. But if 
a contrary forme be given to a contrary maner of 
people, as when the shoe is too litle or too great for 
the foote, it doth hurt and encomber the convenient 
use thereof, so the free people of nature tyrannized or 
ruled by one against their willes, were he never so 
good, either faile of corage and wexe servile, or never 
rest untill they either destroie their king and them that 
would subdue them, or be destroyed themselves: And 
againe another sort there is which without being ruled 
by one prince but set at libertie cannot tell what they 
shoulde doe, but either through insolencie, pride, and 
idlenes will fall to robbery and all mischiefe, and to 
scatter and dissolve themselves, or with foolish ambition 
and private strife consume one another and bring 
themselves to nothing. Of both these two we have 
histories enough to beare witnesse, as the Greekes, 
Romanes, Samnites, Danes, Vandals, and others. Yet 
must you not thinke, that al common wealthes, ad- 


ministrations and rulinges began on this sort, by 
provining or propagation, as is before written, but 
many times after a great battle and long war the 
captaine who led a multitude of people, gathered 
peradventure of diverse nations and languages, liking 
the place which he hath by force conquered, tarieth 
there, and beginneth a common wealth after this 
maner, and for the most part a kingdome. As the 
Gothes and Lumbardes in Italie, the Frenchmen in 
Gaule, the Sarasins in Spaine and part of Fraunce, 
the Saxons in great Brittaine, which is nowe called 
Englande: of which when that one and chiefe prince 
is dead, the nobler sort consult among themselves, 
and either choose an other head and king, or divide 
it into more heads and rulers, so did the Lumbards 
in Italie, and the Saxons in England, or take at the 
first a common rule and popular estate, as the Zwisers 
did in their cantons and do yet at this day, or else 
admit the rule of a certaine fewe, excluding the multi- 
tude and communaltie, as the Paduans, Veronenses, 
and Venetians have accustomed. 

The division of the parts and persons 
of the common wealth. 

Chap. 16. 

TO make all thinges yet cleare before, as we shal 
go, there ariseth another division of the partes 
of the common wealth. For it is not enough to say 
that it consisteth of a multitude of houses and families 
which make stretes and villages, and the multitude of 
the stretes and villages make townes, and the multi- 
tude of townes the realme, and that freemen be 



considered only in this behalf, as subjects and citizens 
of the commonwealth, and not bondmen who can 
beare no rule nor jurisdiction over freemen, as they 
who be taken but as instruments and the goods and 
possessions of others. In which consideration also we 
do reject women, as those whom nature hath made to 
keepe home and to nourish their familie and children, 
and not to medle with matters abroade, nor to beare 
office in a citie or common wealth no more than 
children and infantes: except it be in such cases as 
the authoritie is annexed to the bloud and progenie, 
as the crowne, a dutchie, or an erledome for there 
the blood is respected, not the age nor the sexe. 
Whereby an absolute Queene, an absolute Dutches or 
Countesse, those I call absolute, v/hich have the name, 
not by being maried to a king, duke, or erle, but by 
being the true, right and next successors in the dignitie, 
and upon whom by right of the blood that title is 
descended : These I say have the same authoritie 
although they be women or children in that kingdome, 
dutchie or earledome, as they shoulde have had if they 
had bin men of full age. For the right and honour 
of the blood, and the quietnes and suertie of the 
realme, is more to be considered, than either the tender 
age as yet impotent to rule, or the sexe not accustomed 
(otherwise) to intermeddle with publicke affaires, being 
by common intendment understood, that such person- 
ages never do lacke the counsell of such grave and 
discreete men as be able to supplie all other defectes. 
This (as I sayde) is not enough : But the division of 
these which be participant of the common wealth is 
one way of them that beare office, tlje other of them 
that beare none: the first are called magistrates, the 



second private men. Another the like was among 
the Romanes of Patr'ttij and p/tbei, thone striving with 
thother a long time, the patricij many yeares ex- 
cluding the plebei from bearing rule, untill at last all 
magistrates were made common between them: yet 
was there another division of the Romanes into 
senatores y equ'ttes and plebs: the Greekes had also evye- 
i/et? Kai \t)iLavTiypv<i. The French have also at this 
day, Us nobUs and la populare, or gentils homes and 
villaines: we in England divide our men commonly 
into foure sortes, gentle men, citizens, yeomen artificers, 
and laborers. Of frentlemen the first and chiefe are 

the king, the prince, dukes, marquises, earles, vi- 
countes, barrons, and these are called /car £%oyT)v the 
nobility, and all these are called Lords and noble- 
men : next to these be knightes, esquiers and simple 

Of the first part of gentlemen of englande 

called Nobilitas maior. 
Chap. 17. 

DUkes, marquises, erles, vicountes, and barrons, 
either be created by the prince or come to that 
honor by being the eldest sonnes, as highest and next 
in succession to their parentes. For the eldest of dukes 
sonnes during his fathers lyfe is called an earle, an 
earles sonne is called by the name of a vicount, or 
baron, or else according as the creation is. The 
creation I cal the first donation and condition of the 
honour (given by the prince, for good service done by 
him and advauncement that the prince will bestowe 



uppon him) which with the title of that honour is 
commonly (but not alwayes) given to him and to his 
heires, males onely : the rest of the sonnes of the 
nobilitie by the rigor of the lawe be but esquiers, 
yet in common speeche, all dukes and marquises 
sonnes, and the eldest sonne of an earle be called 
Lordes. The which name commonly doth agree to 
none of lower degree than barrons, excepting such 
onely, as be thereunto by some speciall office called. 
The barrony or degree of Lordes doeth answere to 
the dignitie of the Senators of Rome, and the title of 
our nobilitie to their patricij'. when patricij did be- 
token Senatores aut senatorum filios. Census Senatorius 
was in Rome, at diverse times diverse, and in Englande 
no man is created barron, excepte he may dispend of 
yearly revenue, one thousand poundes or one thousand 
markes at the least. Vicountes, earles, marquises and 
dukes more according to the proportion of the degree 
and honour, but though by chaunce he or his sonne 
have lesse, he keepeth his degree: but if they decay 
by excesse, and be not able to maintaine the honour 
(as senatores Romant were amoti senatu) so sometimes 
they are not admitted to the upper house in the 
parliament, although they keepe the name of Lorde 

Of the second sort of gentlemen which may 

be called Nobilitas minor^ and first of knightes. 
Chap. 18. 

^T O man is a Knight by succession, not the king 
% or prince. And the name of prince in england 
kclt egoxyv betokeneth the kinges eldest sonne or 



prince of wales : although the king himselfe, his eldest 
sonne, and all dukes be called by generall name 
princes. But as in Fraunce the kinges eldest sonne 
hath the title of the daulphine, and he or the next 
heire apparant to the crowne is monsire, so in Englande 
the kinges eldest sonne is called kot i^o^rjv the prince. 
Knightes therefore be not borne but made, either 
before the battle to encourage them the more to ad- 
venture their lives, or after the conflict, as advaunce- 
ment for their hardinesse and manhood alreadie shewed : 
or out of the warre for some great service done, or 
some good hope through the vermes which do appeare 
in them. And they are made either by the king him- 
selfe, or by his commission and royall authoritie, given 
for the same purpose, or by his liuetenaunt in the 
warres, who hath his royall and absolute power com- 
mitted to him for that time. And that order seemeth 
to aunswere in part to that which the Romanes called 
Equites Romanos y differing in some pointes, and agreeing 
in other, as their common wealth and ours do differ 
and agree : for never in all pointes one common wealth 
doth agree with an other, no nor long time any one 
common wealth with it selfe. For al chaungeth 
continually to more or lesse, and still to diverse and 
diverse orders, as the diversity of times do present 
occasion, and the mutabilitie of mens wittes doth 
invent and assay newe wayes, to reforme and amende 
that werein they do finde fault. Equites Romani 
were chosen ex censu, that is according to their sub- 
stance and riches. So be knightes in England most 
commonly, according to the yearely revenew of their 
landes being able to maintaine that estate : yet all they 
that had Equestrem censum, non legebantur equites. No 

c 33 


more are all made knightes in Englande that may 
dispende a knightes land or fee, but they onely whom 
the king wil so honour. The number of Equites was 
uncertaine, and so it is of knightes, at the pleasure 
of the prince. Equites Romani had equum publicum. 
The knightes of England have not so, but finde their 
own horse themselves in peace time, and most usually 
in warres. 

Census equester was among the Romanes at diverse 
times of diverse valew: but in England whosoever 
may dispende of his free landes 40. 1. sterling of 
yearely revenew by an olde law of Englande either 
at the coronation of the king, or manage of his 
daughter, or at the dubbing of the prince, knight, 
or some such great occasion, may be by the king 
compelled to take that order and honour, or to 
pay a fine, which many not so desirous of honour 
as of riches, had rather disburse. Some who for 
causes ar not thought worthy of that honor and 
yet have abilitie, neither be made knightes though 
they would, and yet pay the fine. XI. 1. sterling, at 
that time when this order began, maketh now Cxx. 1. 
of currant mony of Englande : as I have more at large 
declared in my booke of the diversitie of standardes 
or the valor of monies. 

When the Romanes did write senatus populusque 
Romanus, they seemed to make but two orders, that 
is of the Senate and of the people of Rome, and so 
in the name of people they contained equites and 
plehem : so when we in England do say the Lordes 
and the commons, the knights, esquires, and other 
gentlemen, with citizens, burgeses and yeomen be 
accompted to make the commons. In ordaining of 



lawes the senate of Lordes of England is one house, 
where the Archbishoppes and Bishops also be, and the 
king or Queene for the time being as chiefe: the 
Knights and all the rest of the gentlemen, citizens 
and burgeses which be admitted to consult upon the 
greatest affaires of the Realme be in an other house 
by themselves, and that is called the house of the 
commons, as we shal more clearely describe when we 
speake of the parliament. Whereupon this worde 
knight is derived, and whether it do betoken no more 
but that which miles doth in latine, which is a souldier, 
might be moved as a question. The word souldier 
now seemeth rather to come of sould and payment, 
and more to betoken a waged or hyred man to fight 
than otherwise, yet Casar in his Commentaries called 
soldures in the tongue gallois, men who devoted and 
swore themselves in a certaine band or othe one to 
another and to the captaine, which order if the 
Almains did follow, it may be that they who were 
not hyred but being of the nation, uppon their owne 
charges and for their advauncement, and by such 
common oth or band that did follow the warres, were 
(possibly) Kar e^o^rjv called knightes or milites y and 
nowe among the Almaines some are called lanceknights 
as souldiers of their band not hyred, although at this 
day they be for the most part hirelings. Or per- 
adventure it may be that they which were next about 
the prince as his garde or servauntes picked or chosen 
men out of the rest being called in the Almaine 
language, knighten, which is asmuch to say as ser- 
vantes: these men being found of good service, the 
word afterward was taken for an honor, and for him 
who maketh profession of armes. Our language is 
c* 35 


so chaunged that I dare make no judgement therof. 
Now we call him knight in english that the french 
calleth chevalier, and the latine equitem or equestris 

And when any man is made a knight, he kneeling 
downe is stroken of the prince, with his sworde naked 
uppon the backe or shoulder, the prince saying: sus or 
sois chivalier au nom de Dieu and (in times past) they 
added S. George, and at his arising the prince saith, 
avauncer. This is the manner of dubbing of knights 
at this present: and that terme dubbing was the 
olde terme in this point, and not creation. At the 
coronation of a king or queene, there be knightes 
of the bath made with long and more curious cere- 
monies: But howsoever one be dubbed or made a 
knight, his wife is by and by called a Ladie as well 
as a barons wife : he himselfe is not called Lorde, but 
hath to his name in common appellation added this 
syllable, Sir, as if he before were named, Thomas, 
William, 'John, or Richard, afterward he is alwayes 
called Sir Thomas, Sir William, Sir John, Sir Richard, 
and that is the title which men give to knightes in 
England. This may suffice at this time, to declare 
the order of knighthood, yet there is an other order 
of knightes in England which be called the knightes 
of the garter. King Edward the third, after he had 
obtained many notable victories, King John of Fraunce, 
King James of Scotland, being both prisoners in the 
tower of London at one time, and king Henrie of 
Castell the bastard expulsed out of his realme, and 
Don Retro restored unto it by the prince of Wales 
and Duke of Aquitaine called the blacke prince, in- 
vented a societie of honour, and made a choise out 



of his owne realme and dominions, and all Christen- 
dom : and the best and most excellent renouned 
persons in vertues and honour, he did adorne with that 
title to be knightes of his order, gave them a garter 
decked with golde, pearle and precious stones, with 
the buckle of gold, to weare daily on the left legge 
onely, a kirtle, gowne, cloke, chaperon, collar, and 
other august and magnificall apparell both of stuffe 
and fashion exquisite and heroicall, to weare at high 
feastes, as to so high and princely an order was meete : 
of which order he and his successors Kinges and 
Queenes of England to be the soveraigne, and the rest 
by certaine statutes and lawes among themselves, be 
taken as brethren and fellowes in that order, to the 
number of xxvi. But because this is rather an orna- 
ment of the realme than any policie or government 
therof, I leave to speake any further of it. 

Of Esquiers. 
Chap. 19. 

EScuier or esquier (which we call commonly squire) 
is a French worde, and betokeneth Scutigerum 
or Armigerum, and be all those which beare armes 
(as we call them) or armories (as they terme them in 
French) which to beare is a testimonie of the nobilitie 
or race from whence they do come. These be taken 
for no distinct order of the common wealth, but do 
goe with the residue of the gentlemen : save that 
(as I take it) they be those who beare armes, testi- 
monies (as I have saide) of their race, and therefore 
have neither creation nor dubbing: or else they were 



at the first costerels or the bearers of the armes of 

Lordes or knightes, and by that had their name 

for a dignitie and honour given to distinguish them 

from a common souldier called in latine Gregarius 

Of Gentlemen. 
Chap. 20. 

GEntlemen be those whom their blood and race 
doth make noble and knowne, Rvyevels in 
Greeke, the Latines call them all Nobiles, as the French 
Nobles, Rvyevela or Nobilitas in Latine is defined, 
honour or title given, for that the auncestor hath bin 
notable in riches or vertues, or (in fewer wordes) old 
riches or prowes remaining in one stock. Which if 
the successors do keepe and followe, they be vere nobiles 
and TLvyeveis: if they doe not, yet the fame and 
wealth of their auncestors serve to cover them so 
long as it can, as a thing once gilted though it be 
copper within, till the gilt be worne away. This hath 
his reason, for the Etimologie of the name serveth 
thefficacie of the worde. Gens in Latine betokeneth the 
race and sirname, so the Romaines had Cornelios, Sergios, 
Appios, Fabios, Aemilios, Pisones, Julios, Brutos, Valerios, 
of which who were Agnati, and therefore kept the 
name, were also Gentiles : and remaining the me- 
morie of the glorie of their progenitors fame, were 
gentlemen of that or that race. This matter made 
a great strife among the Romanes, when those which 
were Novi homines were more allowed, for their vertues 
new and newly showen, than the olde smell of 
auntient race newly defaced by the cowardise and evill 



life of their nephewes and discendauntes could make 
the other to be. Thus the Cicerones, Catones^ and 
Marii had much adoe with those auncients, and there- 
fore said "Juvenalis : 

Malo pater tibi sit Tersites, dummodo tu sis 
Aeacidi similis vulcaniaque arma capessas, 
Quam te Thersiti similem producat Achilles. 
But as other common wealthes were faine to doe, 
so must all princes necessarilie followe, that is, where 
vertue is to honour it : and although vertue of auncient 
race be easier to be obtained, aswell by the example 
of the progenitors, which encourageth, as also through 
habilitie of education and bringing up, which enableth, 
and the lastly enraced love of tenants and neybors to 
such noblemen and gentlemen, of whom they holde 
and by whom they doe dwell, which pricketh forward 
to ensue in their fathers steps. So if all this doe faile 
(as it were great pitie it should) yet such is the nature 
of all humaine thinges, and so the world is subject 
to mutability, that it doth many times faile : but when 
it doth, the prince and common wealth have the same 
power that their predecessors had, and as the husband- 
man hath to plant a new tree where the olde fayleth, 
so hath the prince to honour vertue where he doth 
find it, to make gentlemen, esquiers, knights, barons, 
earles, marquises, and dukes, where he seeth vertue 
able to beare that honour or merits, and deserves it, 
and so it hath alwayes bin used among us. But or- 
dinarily the king doth only make knights and create 
barons or higher degrees : for as for gentlemen, they 
be made good cheape in England. For whosoever 
studieth the lawes of the realme, who studieth in the 
universities, who professeth liberall sciences, and to be 



shorte, who can live idly and without manuall labour, 
and will beare the port, charge and countenaunce of 
a gentleman, he shall be called master, for that is the 
title which men give to esquires and other gentlemen, 
and shall be taken for a gentleman : for true it is with 
us as is saide, Tanti eris alijs quanti tibi fecerh : (and 
if neede be) a king of Heraulds shal also give him for 
mony, armes newly made and invented, the title 
whereof shall pretende to have beene found by the 
sayd Herauld in perusing and viewing of olde registers, 
where his auncestors in times past had bin recorded 
to beare the same : Or if he wil do it more truely 
and of better faith, he will write that for the merittes 
of that man, and certaine qualities which he doth see 
in him, and for sundrie noble actes which he hath 
perfourmed, he by the authoritie which he hath as 
king of Heraldes and armes, giveth to him and his 
heires these and these armes, which being done I thinke 
he may be called a squire, for he beareth ever after 
those armes. Such men are called sometime in scorne 
gentlemen of the first head. 

Whether the maner of England in making 
gentlemen so easily is to be allowed. 

Chap. 21. 

A Man may make doubt and question whether this 
maner of making gentlemen is to be allowed 
or no, and for my part I am of that opinion that it is 
not amisse. For first the prince loseth nothing by it, 
as he shoulde doe if it were as in Fraunce: for the 
yeomen or husbandman is no more subject to taile or 


taxe in Englande than the gentleman : no, in every 
payment to the king the gentleman is more charged, 
which he beareth the gladlier and dareth not gainesaie 
for to save and keepe his honour and reputation. In 
any shew or muster or other particular charge of the 
towne where he is, he must open his purse wider and 
augment his portion above others, or else he doth 
diminish his reputation. As for their outward shew, 
a gentleman (if he wil be so accompted) must go like 
a gentleman, a yeoman like a yeoman, and a rascall 
like a rascall : and if he be called to the warres, he 
must and will (whatsoever it cost him) array himselfe 
and arme him according to the vocation which he 
pretendeth : he must shew also a more manly corage 
and tokens of better education, higher stomacke and 
bountifuller liberalise than others, and keepe about 
him idle servauntes, who shall doe nothing but waite 
upon him. So that no man hath hurt by it but he 
himselfe, who hereby per chance will beare a bigger 
saile than he is able to maintaine. For as touching 
the policie and goverment of the common wealth, 
it is not those that have to do with it, which will 
magnifie them selves, and goe in higher buskins than 
their estate will beare: but they which are to be 
appointed, are persons tryed and well knowen, as shall 
be declared hereafter. 

Of Citizens and Burgesses. 
Chap. 22. 

NExt to gentlemen, be appointed citizens and 
burgesses, such as not onely be free and re- 
ceived as officers within the cities, but also be of some 



substance to beare the charges. But these citizens and 
burgesses, be to serve the common wealth, in their 
cities and burrowes, or in corporate townes where they 
dwell. Generally in the shyres they be of none 
accompt, save onely in the common assembly of the 
realme to make lawes, which is called the Parliament. 
The aunciet cities appoint iiij. and ech burrough ij. 
to have voices in it, and to give their consent or 
dissent in the name of the citie or burrough for which 
they be appointed. 

Of Yeomen. 
Chap. 23. 

THose whom we call yeomen next unto the 
nobilitie, knights and squires, have the greatest 
charge and doings in the common wealth, or rather 
are more travailed to serve in it than all the rest : as 
shall appeare hereafter. I call him a yeoman whom 
our lawes doe call Legalem hominem, a worde familiar 
in writtes and enquestes, which is a freeman borne 
English, and may dispend of his owne free lande in 
yerely revenue to the summe of xl. s. sterling : This 
maketh (if the just value were taken now to the 
proportion of monies) vi. 1. of our currant mony at 
this present. This sort of people confesse themselves 
to be no gentlemen, but give the honour to al which 
be or take upon them to be gentlemen, and yet they 
have a certaine preheminence and more estimation than 
laborers and artificers, and commonly live welthilie, 
keepe good houses, and do their businesse, and travaile 
to acquire riches : these be (for the most part) fermors 
unto gentlemen, which with grasing, frequenting of 


markettes, and keeping servauntes not idle as the gentle- 
man doth, but such as get both their owne living and 
parte of their maisters: by these meanes doe come 
to such wealth, that they are able and daily doe buy 
the landes of unthriftie gentlemen, and after setting 
their sonnes to the schoole at the Universities, to the 
lawe of the Realme, or otherwise leaving them 
sufficient landes whereon they may live without labour, 
doe make their saide sonnes by those meanes gentle- 
men. These be not called masters, for that (as I saide) 
pertaineth to gentlemen onely : But to their surnames, 
men adde goodman : as if the surname be Luter, Finch, 
White, Browne, they are called, goodman Luter, good- 
man White, goodman Finch, goodman Browne, amongest 
their neighbours, I meane not in matters of importance 
or in lawe. But in matters of lawe and for distinction, 
if one were a knight they would write him (for ex- 
ample sake) sir John Finch knight, so if he be an 
esquier, John Finch esquier or gentleman, if he be 
no gentleman, John Finch yeoman. For amongest 
the gentlemen they which claime no higher degree, 
and yet be to be exempted out of the number of the 
lowest sort thereof, be written esquiers. So amongest 
the husbandmen labourers, lowest and rascall sort of 
the people such as be exempted out of the number of 
the rascabilitie of the popular be called and written 
yeomen, as in the degree next unto gentlemen. These 
are they which olde Cato calleth Aratores and optimos 
cives in Republica : and such as of whom the writers 
of common wealthes praise to have manie in it. Ari- 
stote/es namely reciteth iro/xa fiecrrjria apiara : these 
tende their owne businesse, come not to meddle in 
publike matters and judgements but when they are 



called, and gladde when they are delivered thereof, are 
obedient to the gentlemen and rulers, and in warre 
can abide travaile and labour as men used to it, yet 
wishing it soone at an ende that they might come 
home and live of their owne. When they are foorth 
they fight for their Lordes of whom they hold their 
landes, for their wives and children, for their countrey 
and nation, for praise and honour, against they come 
home, and to have the love of their Lorde and his 
children to be continued towardes them and their 
children, which have adventured their lives to and 
with him and his. These are they which in the old 
world gat that honour to Englande, not that either for 
witte, conduction, or for power they are or were ever 
to be compared to the gentlemen, but because they be 
so manie in number, so obedient at the Lordes call, 
so strong of bodie, so heard to endure paine, so 
couragious to adventure with their Lorde or Captaine 
going with, or before them, for else they be not hastie 
nor never were, as making no profession of knowledge 
of warre. These were the good archers in times past, 
and the stable troupe of footemen that affaide all 
France, that would rather die all, than once abandon 
the knight or gentleman their Captaine, who at those 
daies commonly was their Lorde, and whose tenauntes 
they were, readie (besides perpetuall shame) to be in 
danger of undoing of them selves, and all theirs if they 
should showe any signe of cowardise or abandon the 
Lorde, Knight or Gentlemen of whom they helde 
their living. And this they have amongest them from 
their forefathers tolde one to an other. The gentlemen 
of France and the yeomen of Englande are renowned, 
because in battle of horsemen Fraunce was many times 



too good for us, as we againe alway for them on foote. 
And Gentlemen for the most part be men at armes 
and horsemen, and yeomen commonlie on foote : howe- 
soever it was, yet the gentlemen had alwaies the 
conduction of the yeomen, and as their captaines were 
either a foote or upon a litle nagge with them, and 
the Kinges of Englande in foughten battles remaining 
alwaies among the footemen, as the French Kinges 
amongst their horsemen. Each Prince therby, as a man 
may gesse, did shew where he thought his strength did 
consist. What a yeoman is I have declared, but from 
whence the word is derived it is hard to say : it cannot 
be thought that yeomen should be said a young man, 
for commonly wee doe not call any a yeoman till he be 
married, and have children, and as it were have some au- 
thorise among his neighbours. Yonker in lowe dutch be- 
tokeneth a meane gentleman or a gay fellowe. Possible 
our yeomen not being so bolde as to name themselves 
gentlemen, when they came home, were content when 
they had heard by frequentation with lowe dutchmen 
of some small gentleman (but yet that would be 
counted so) to be called amongest them, yonker man, 
the calling so in warres by mockage or in sport thone 
an other, when they come home, yonker man, and so 
yeoman : which worde now signifieth among us, 
a man well at ease and having honestlie to live, 
and yet not a gentleman : whatsoever that worde 
yonker man, yonke man, or yeoman doth more or 
lesse signifie to the dutch men. 



Of the fourth sort of men which 

doe not rule. 
Chap. 24. 

THe fourth sort or classe amongest us, is of those 
which the olde Romans called capite censij 
proletary or operce, day labourers, poore husbandmen, 
yea marchantes or retailers which have no free lande, 
copiholders, and all artificers, as Taylers, Shoomakers, 
Carpenters, Brickemakers, Bricklayers, Masons, &c. 
These have no voice nor authoritie in our common 
wealth, and no account is made of them but onelie 
to be ruled, not to rule other, and yet they be not 
altogether neglected. For in cities and corporate 
townes for default of yeomen, enquests and Juries are 
impaneled of such manner of people. And in villages 
they be commonly made Churchwardens, alecunners, 
and manie times Constables, which office toucheth 
more the common wealth, and at the first was not 
imployed uppon such lowe and base persons. Where- 
fore generally to speake of the common wealth, or 
policie of Englande, it is governed, administred, and 
manured by three sortes of persons, the Prince, Mon- 
arch, and head governer, which is called the king, or 
if the crowne fall to a woman, the Queene absolute, 
as I have heeretofore saide : In whose name and by 
whose authoritie all things are administred. The 
gentlemen, which be divided into two partes, the 
Baronie or estate of Lordes conteyning barons and 
all that bee above the degree of a baron, (as I have 
declared before) : and those which be no Lords, as 


Knightes, Esquires, and simplely gentlemen. The 
thirde and last sort of persons is named the yeomanrie : 
each of these hath his part and administration in 
judgementes, corrections of defaultes, in election of 
offices, in appointing and collection of tributes and 
subsidies, or in making lawes, as shall appear heere- 




Of the Parliament and the au- 

thoritie thereof. 
Chap. i. 

THe most high and absolute power of the realme 
of Englande, consisteth in the Parliament. For 
as in warre where the king himselfe in person, the 
nobilitie, the rest of the gentilitie, and the yeomanrie 
are, is the force and power of Englande: so in peace 
and consultation where the Prince is to give life, and 
the last and highest commaundement, the Baronie for 
the nobilitie and higher, the knightes, esquiers, gentle- 
men and commons for the lower part of the common 
wealth, the bishoppes for the clergie bee present to 
advertise, consult and shew what is good and necessarie 
for the common wealth, and to consult together, and 
upon mature deliberation everie bill or lawe being 
thrise reade and disputed uppon in either house, the 
other two partes first each a part, and after the Prince 
himselfe in presence of both the parties doeth consent 
unto and That is the Princes and whole 
realmes deede : whereupon justlie no man can com- 
plaine, but must accommodate himselfe to finde it 
good and obey it. 


That which is doone by this consent is called 
firme, stable, and sanctum, and is taken for lawe. The 
Parliament abrogateth olde lawes, maketh newe, giveth 
orders for thinges past, and for thinges hereafter to 
be followed, changeth rightes, and possessions of private 
men, legittimateth bastards, established formes of 
religion, altereth weightes and measures, giveth formes 
of succession to the crowne, defineth of doubtfull 
rightes, whereof is no lawe alreadie made, appointeth 
subsidies, tailes, taxes, and impositions, giveth most free 
pardons and absolutions, restoreth in bloud and name 
as the highest court, condemneth or absolveth them 
whom the Prince will put to that triall: And to be 
short, all that ever the people of Rome might do either 
in Centuriatis comitijs or tributis, the same may be doone 
by the parliament of Englande, which representeth 
and hath the power of the whole realme both the head 
and the bodie. For everie Englishman is entended 
to bee there present, either in person or by procuration 
and attornies, of what preheminence, state, dignitie, 
or qualitie soever he be, from the Prince (be he King 
or Queene) to the lowest person of Englande. And 
the consent of the Parliament is taken to be everie 
mans consent. 

The forme of holding the Parliament. 
Chap. 2. 

THe Prince sendeth foorth his rescripts or writtes 
to every duke, marques, baron, and every other 
Lorde temporall or spirituall who hath voice in the 
parliament, to be at his great counsell of Parliament 
such a day, (the space from the date of the writ is 

d 49 


commonly at the least fortie dayes) : he sendeth also 
writtes to the Sherifes of every shyre to admonish the 
whole shire to choose two knightes of the parliament 
in the name of the shyre, to heare and reason, and 
to give their advise and consent in the name of the 
shire, and to be present at that day : likewise to every 
citie and towne which of ancientie hath bin wont to 
finde burgesses of the parliament, so to make election 
that they might be present there at the first day of 
the parliament. The knightes of the shyre be chosen 
by all the gentlemen and yeomen of the shyre, present 
at the day assigned for the election : the voice of any 
absent can be counted for none. Yeomen I call here 
(as before) that may dispende at the least xl. s. of 
yearely rent of free lande of his owne. These meet- 
ing at one day, the two who have the more of their 
voices be chosen knightes of the shire for that parlia- 
ment : likewise by the pluralitie of the voyces of the 
citizens and burgesses be the burgesses elected. The 
first day of the parliament the Prince and all the 
Lordes in their robes of parliament do meete in the 
higher house, where after prayers made, they that 
be present are written, and they that be absent upon 
sicknes or some other reasonable cause (which the 
prince will allow e) do constitute under their hande 
and seale some one of those who be present as their 
procurer or atturney to give voice for them, so that 
by presence or atturney and proxey they be all there, 
all the princes and barrons and all archbishops and 
bishops, and (when abbots were) so many abbots as had 
voice in parliament. The place where the assembly 
is, is richly tapessed and hanged, a princely and royal 
throne as appertaineth to a king, set in the middest 


of the higher place thereof. Next under the prince 
sitteth the Chancellor, who is the voyce and orator 
of the prince. On the one side of that house or 
chamber sitteth the archbishops and bishops, ech in 
his ranke, on the other side . the dukes and barons. 
In the middest thereof uppon woolsackes sitteth the 
Judges of the realme, the master of the roules, and 
the secretaries of estate. But these that sit on the 
woolsacks have no voice in the house, but onely sit 
there to aunswere their knowledge in the law, when 
they be asked if any doubt arise among the Lordes. 
The secretaries to aunswere of such letters or thinges 
passed in counsell whereof they have the custodie and 
knowledge : and this is called the upper house, whose 
consent and dissent is given by ech man severally and 
by himselfe, first for himselfe, and then severally for 
so many as he hath letters and proxies, when it 
commeth to the question, saying onely content or not 
content, without further reasoning or replying. In 
this meane time the knights of the shires and burgesses 
of the parliament (for so they are called that have 
voice in parliament, and are chosen as I have said 
before, to the number betwixt iij. C. and iiij. C.) are 
called by such as it pleaseth the prince to appoint, into 
an other great house or chamber by name, to which 
they aunswere and declaring for what shyre or towne 
they aunswere : then they are willed to choose an able 
and discreete man to be as it were the mouth of them 
all, and to speake for and in the name of them, and 
to present him so chosen by them to the prince : 
which done they comming al with him to a barre, which 
is at the nether ende of the upper house, there he first 
praiseth the prince, then maketh his excuse of unabilitie, 

D 2 51 


and prayeth the prince that he would command the 
commons to choose another. The chancellor in the 
princes name doth so much declare him able, as he 
did declare himselfe unable, and thanketh the commons 
for choosing so wise, discreete and eloquent a man, 
and willeth them to go and consult of lawes for the 
common wealth. Then the speaker maketh certaine 
requests to the prince in the name of the commons, 
first that his majestie would be content that they may 
use and enjoy all their liberties and priviledges that the 
common house was wont to enjoy. Secondly that 
they might franckely and freely saye their mindes in 
disputing of such matters as may come in question, 
and that without offence to his Majestie. Thirdly 
that if any should chaunce of that lower house to 
offend or not to do or say as should become him, or 
if any should offend any of them being called to that 
his highnes court : That they themselves might (ac- 
cording to the ancient custome) have the punishment 
v /of them. And fourthly, that if there came any doubt, 
whereupon they shal desire to have thadvise or con- 
ference with his Majestie or with any of the Lordes, 
that they might doe it: All which he promiseth in 
the commons names that they shall not abuse, but 
have such regarde as most faithfull, true and loving 
subjectes ought to have to their prince. 

The Chauncelor answereth in the princes name, as 
apperteyneth. And this is all that is doone for one 
day, and sometime two. Besides the Chauncelor, 
there is one in the upper house who is called Clarke 
of the Parliament, who readeth the bils. For all that 
commeth in consultation either in the upper house 
or in the neather house, is put in writing first in 



paper, which being once read, he that will, riseth up 
and speaketh with it or against it : and so one after 
another so long as they shall thinke good. That doone 
they goe to another, and so an other bill. After it 
hath bin once or twise read, and doth appeare that 
it is somewhat liked as reasonable, with such amend- 
ment in wordes and peradventure some sentences as 
by disputation seemeth to be amended : In the upper 
house the Chauncelor asketh if they will have it en- 
grossed, that is to say put into parchment : which 
doone, and read the third time, and that eftsoones if 
any be disposed to object disputed againe among them, 
the Chauncelor asketh if they will goe to the question : 
and if they agree to goe to the question, then he sayth, 
here is such a lawe or act concerning such a matter, 
which hath beene thrise read here in this house, are 
ye content that it be enacted or no? If the not 
contentes be moe, then the bill is dashed, that is to 
say the lawe is annihilated and goeth no further. If 
the contentes be the more, then the Clarke writeth 
underneath : Soit bailie aux commons. And so when 
they see time they send such bils as they have ap- 
prooved by two or three of those which doe sit on 
the woolsacks to the commons: who asking licence, 
and comming into the house, with due reverence, sayth 
to the speaker : Master speaker, my Lordes of the 
upper house have passed among them and thinke good, 
that there should be enacted by Parliament such an 
act, and such an act, and so readeth the titles of that 
act or actes. They pray you to consider of them, and 
shew them your advise, which doone they goe their 
way. They being gone and the doore againe shut, 
the speaker rehearseth to the house what they sayde. 



And if they be not busie disputing at that time in an 
other bill, he asketh them streightwaie if they will have 
that bill or (if there be mo) one of them. 

In like maner in the lower house the speaker sitting 
in a seate or chaire for that purpose somewhat higher, 
that he may see and be seene of them all, hath before 
him in a lower seate his Clarke, who readeth such 
bils as be first propounded in the lower house, or be 
sent down from the Lords. For in that point ech 
house hath equal authoritie, to propounde what they 
thinke meete, either for thabrogating of some law 
made before, or for making of a newe. All bils be 
thrise in three diverse dayes read and disputed upon, 
before they come to the question. In the disputing is 
a mervelous good order used in the lower house. He 
that standeth uppe bareheadded is understanded that he 
will speake to the bill. If moe stande uppe, who that 
first is judged to arise, is first harde, though the one doe 
prayse the law, the other diswade it, yet there is no 
altercation. For everie man speaketh as to the speaker, 
not as one to an other, for that is against the order 
of the house. It is also taken against the order, to 
name him whom ye doe confute, but by circumlo- 
cution, as he that speaketh with the bill, or he that 
spake against the bill, and gave this and this reason. 
And so with perpetuall Oration not with altercation, 
he goeth through till he do make an end. He that 
once hath spoken in a bill though he be confuted 
straight, that day may not replie, no though he would 
chaunge his opinion. So that to one bill in one day 
one may not in that house speake twise, for else one 
or two with altercation woulde spende all the time. 
The next day he may, but then also but once. 



No reviling or nipping wordes must be used. For 
then all the house will crie, it is against the order : 
and if any speake unreverently or seditiouslie against 
the Prince or the privie counsell, I have seene them 
not onely interrupted, but it hath beene moved after 
to the house, and they have sent them to the tower. 
So that in such a multitude, and in such diversitie 
of mindes, and opinions, there is the greatest modestie 
and temperance of speech that can be used. Never- 
thelesse with much doulce and gentle termes, they 
make their reasons as violent and as vehement the 
one against the other as they may ordinarily, except 
it bee for urgent causes and hasting of time. At the 
afternoone they keepe no parliament. The speaker 
hath no voice in the house, nor they will not suffer 
him to speake in any bill to moove or diswade it. 
But when any bill is read, the speakers office is as 
brieflie and as plainely as he may to declare the effect 
thereof to the house. If the commons doe assent to 
such billes as be sent to them first agreed upon from 
the Lords thus subscribed, Les commons ont assentus, so 
if the Lordes doe agree to such billes as be first agreed 
uppon by the Commons, they sende them downe to 
the speaker thus subscribed, Les Seigneurs ont assentus. 
If they cannot agree, the two houses (for everie bill 
from whence soever it doth come is thrise reade in 
each of the houses) if it be understoode that there is 
any sticking, sometimes the Lordes to the Commons, 
somtime the Commons to the Lords doe require that a 
certaine of each house may meete together, and so ech 
part to be enformed of others meaning, and this is 
alwaies graunted. After which meeting for the most 
part not alwaies either parte agrees to others billes. 



In the upper house they give their assent and 
dissent ech man severallie and by himselfe first for 
himselfe, and then for so manie as he hath proxie. 
When the Chaunceler hath demanded of them whether 
they will goe to the question after the bill hath beene 
thrise reade, they saying only content or not con- 
tent, without further reasoning or replying: and as 
the more number doeth agree, so is it agreed on, or 

In the neather house none of them that is elected 
either Knight or Burges can give his voice to an 
other nor his consent nor dissent by proxie. The 
more parte of them that be present onely maketh the 
consent or dissent. After the bill hath beene twise 
reade, and then engrossed and eftsoones reade and dis- 
puted on ynough as is thought : the speaker asketh 
if they will goe to the question. And if they agree 
he holdeth the bill up in his hande and sayeth, as 
many as will have this bill goe forwarde, which is 
concerning such a matter, say yea. Then they which 
allowe the bill crie yea, and as many as will not, say 
no : as the crie of yea or no is bigger, so the bill 
is allowed or dashed. If it be a doubt which crie is 
the bigger, they divide the house, the speaker saying, 
as many as doe alowe the bill goe downe with the 
bill, and as many as do not sitte still. So they divide 
themselves, and being so divided they are numbred 
who make the more part, and so the bill doeth speede. 
It chaunceth sometime that some part of the bil is 
allowed, some other part hath much contrariety and 
doubt made of it : and it is thought if it were amended 
it would goe forwarde. Then they chuse certaine 
committees of them who have spoken with the bil and 


against it to amende it, and bring it in againe so amended, 
as they amongest them shall thinke meete : and this 
is before it is engrossed, yea and some time after. 
But the agreement of these committees is no prejudice 
to the house. For at the last question they will 
either accept it or dash it as it shall seeme good, 
notwithstanding that whatsoever the committees have 

Thus no bill is an act of Parliament, ordinaunce, 
or edict of law, untill both the houses severallie have 
agreed unto it, after the order aforesaide, no nor then 
neither. But the last day of that Parliament or session 
the Prince commeth in person in his Parliament robes, 
and sitteth in his state : all the upper house sitteth 
about the Prince in their states and order in their 
robes. The speaker with all the common house com- 
meth to the barre, and there after thankes given first 
in the Lordes name by the Chaunceller &c. and in 
the commons name by the speaker to the Prince, for 
that hee hath so great care of the good governement 
of his people, and for calling them together to advise 
of such thinges as should be for the reformation, 
establishing and ornament of the common wealth : the 
Chaunceller in the Princes name giveth thankes to 
the Lords and commons for their paines and travailes 
taken, which he saith the Prince will remember and 
recompence when time and occasion shall serve, and 
that he for his part is ready to declare his pleasure 
concerning their proceedings, whereby the same may 
have perfect life and accomplishment by his princelie 
authoritie, and so have the whole consent of the 
Realme. Then one reades the title of everie act which 
hath passed at that session, but only in this fashion : 



An act concerning such a thing &c. It is marked 
there what the Prince doth allowe, and to such he 
sayth : Le roy or la royne le veult. And those be taken 
nowe as perfect lawes and ordinances of the Realme 
of Englande and none other, and as shortlie as may 
be put in print, except it be some private cause or lawe 
made for the benefit or prejudice of some private man, 
which the Romans were wont to call privilegia. 
These be onelie exemplified under the seale of the 
Parliament, and for the most part not printed. To 
those which the Prince liketh not, he answereth, Le 
roy or la royne saduisera, and those be accounted utterly 
dashed and of no effect. 

This is the order and forme of the highest and 
most authenticall court of Englande, by vertue whereof 
all those things be established whereof I spake before, 
and no other meanes accounted vailable to make any 
new forfaiture of life, member, or landes of any 
English man, where there was no lawe ordayned for 
it before. Nowe let us speake of the saide partes 
when they be severall. 

Of the Monarch King or Queene 

of Englande. 
Chap. 3. 

THe Prince whom I nowe call (as I have often 
before) the Monarch of Englande, King or 
Queene, hath absolutelie in his power the authoritie 
of warre and peace, to defie what Prince it shall please 
him, and to bid him warre, and againe to reconcile 


himselfe and enter into league or truce with him at 
his pleasure or the advice onely of his privie counsell. 
His privie counsell be chosen also at the Princes 
pleasure out of the nobilitie or baronie, and of the 
Knightes, and Esquiers, such and so many as he shal 
thinke good, who doth consult daily, or when neede 
is of the weightie matters of the Realme, to give 
therein to their Prince the best advice they can. The 
Prince doth participate to them all, or so many" of 
them, as he shall thinke good, such legations and 
messages as come from forren Princes, such letters or 
occurrentes as be sent to himselfe or to his secretaries, 
and keepeth so many ambassades and letters sent unto 
him secret as he will, although these have a particular 
oth of a counceller touching faith and secrets ad- 
ministred unto them when they be first admitted into 
that companie. So that heerein the kingdome of 
Englande is farre more absolute than either the duke- 
dome of Venice is, or the kingdome of the Lacede- 
monians was. In warre time, and in the field the 
Prince hath also absolute power, so that his worde 
is a law, he may put to death, or to other bodilie 
punishment, whom he shall thinke so to deserve, 
without processe of lawe or forme of judgement. This 
hath beene sometime used within the Realme before 
any open warre in sodden insurrections and rebellions, 
but that not allowed of wise and grave men, who in 
that their judgement had consideration of the conse- 
quence and example, asmuch as of the present necessitie, 
especiallie, when by anie meanes the punishment 
might have beene doone by order of lawe. This 
absolute power is called marciall lawe, and ever was 
and necessarilie must be used in all campes and hostes 



of men, where the time nor place do suffer the 
tariance of pleading and processe, be it never so 
short, and the important necessitie requireth speedie 
execution, that with more awe the souldier might 
be kept in more straight obedience, without which 
never captaine can doe anie thing vaileable in the 

The prince useth also absolute power in crying 
and decreeing the mony of the realme by his pro- 
clamation onely. The mony is alwayes stamped with 
the princes image and title. The forme, fashion, 
maner, weight, finenesse, and basenesse therof, is at 
the discretion of the prince. For whom should the 
people trust more in that matter than their prince, 
seeing the coine is only to certifie the goodnes of the 
mettall and the weight, which is affirmed by the 
princes image and marke? But if the prince will 
deceave them and give them copper for silver or golde, 
or enhaunce his coyne more than it is worth, he is 
deceaved himselfe, aswell as he doth goe about to 
deceave his subjectes. For in the same sort they pay 
the prince his rentes and customes. And in time 
they will make him pay rateably or more for meate, 
drinke and victualles for him and his, and for their 
labour : which experience doth teach us nowe in our 
dayes to be doone in all regions. For there ever hath 
beene, and ever wil be a certaine proportion betweene 
the scarcity and plentie of other thinges, with gold and 
silver, as I have declared more at large in my booke of 
monie. For all other measures and weightes, aswell 
of drie thinges as of wet, they have accustomed to be 
established or altered by the Parliament, and not by 
the princes proclamation only. 


The prince useth also to dispence with lawes made, 
whereas equitie requireth a moderation to be had, and 
with paynes for transgression of lawes, where the 
payne of the lawe is applyed onely to the prince. But 
where the forfaite (as in popular actions it chaunceth 
many times) is part to the prince, the other part to 
the declarator, detector or informer, there the prince 
doth dispence for his owne part onely. Where the 
criminall action is intended by inquisition (that maner 
is called with us at the princes suite) the prince giveth 
absolution or pardon : yet with a clause, modo stet rectus 
in curia, that is to say, that no man object against the 
offendor. Whereby notwithstanding that he hath the 
princes pardon if the person offended will take uppon 
him the accusation (which in our language is called 
the appeale) in cases where it lieth, the princes pardon 
doth not serve the offendor. 

The prince giveth all the chiefe and highest offices 
or magistracies of the realme, be it of judgement or 
dignitie, temporall or spirituall, and hath the temhes 
and first fruites of all Ecclesiasticall promotions, ex- 
cept in the Universities and certaine Colledges which 
be exempt. 

All writtes, executions and commaundementes be 
done in the princes name. We doe say in England 
the life and member of the kinges subjectes are the 
kinges onely, that is to say no man hath hault nor 
moyenne justice but the king, nor can hold plea thereof. 
And therefore all those pleas, which touche the life 
or the mutilation of man, be called pleas of the 
crowne, nor can be doone in the name of any inferior 
person than he or shee that holdeth the crowne of 
Englande. And likewise no man can give pardon 



thereof but the prince onely : Although in times past 
there were certaine countie Palatines, as Chester, 
Durham, Elie, which were hault justicers, and writtes 
went in their name, and also some Lorde marchers 
of Wales, which claymed like priviledge. All these 
are nowe worne away. The supreme justice is done 
v in the kinges name, and by his authoritie onely. 

The Prince hath the wardshippe and first mariage 
of all those that hold landes of him in chiefe. And 
also the governement of all fooles naturall, or such 
as be made by adventure of sicknes, and so continue, 
if they be landed. This being once graunted by act 
of Parliament (although some inconvenience hath 
beene thought to grow thereof, and sith that time 
it hath beene thought verie unreasonable) yet once 
annexed to the crowne who ought to go about to 
take the clubbe out of Hercules hand. And being 
governed justly and rightly, I see not so much in- 
convenience in it, as some men would make of it : 
diverse other rights and preeminences the prince hath 
which be called prerogatives royalles, or the prerogative 
of the king, which be declared particularly in the 
bookes of the common lawes of England. 

To be short the prince is the life, the head, and 
the authoritie of all thinges that be doone in the 
realme of England. And to no prince is doone more 
honor and reverence than to the King and Queene 
of Englande, no man speaketh to the prince nor 
serveth at the table but in adoration and kneeling, 
all persons of the realme be bareheaded before him : 
insomuch that in the chamber of presence where 
the cloath of estate is set, no man dare walke, yea 
though the prince be not there, no man dare tarrie 


there but bareheaded. This is understood of the sub- 
jectes of the realme : For all strangers be suffered there 
and in all places to use the maner of their countrie, 
such is the civilitie of our nation. 

The chiefe pointes wherein one common 
wealth doth differ from an other. 

Chap. 4. 

NOw that we have spoken of the parliament 
(which is the whole universall and generall 
consent and authoritie aswell of the prince as of the 
nobilitie and commons, that is to say, of the whole 
head and bodie of the realme of England) and also 
of the prince, (which is the head, life and governor 
of this common wealth) : there remaineth to shewe, 
how this head doth distribute his authoritie and power 
to the rest of the members for the government of his 
realme, and the_ common wealth of the politique bodie 
of England. And whereas all common wealthes and 
governmentes be most occupyed, and be most diverse 
in the fashion of five thinges: in making of lawes 
and ordinaunces, for their owne goverment : in 
making of battell and peace, or truce with forraine 
nations: in providing of mony for the maintenance 
of themselves, within themselves, and defence of them- 
selves against their enemies: in choosing and election 
of the chiefe officers and magistrates : and fiftly in the 
administration of justice. The first and third we have 
shewed is doone by the prince in parliament. The 
seconde and fourth by the prince himselfe. I The fift 
remaineth to be declared. 



Of the three maners and formes of trialles 

or judgementes in England. 

Chap. 5. 

~P) Y order and usage of Englande there is three 
JL/ wayes and maners, whereby absolute and de- 
finite judgement is given, by parliament which is the 
highest and most absolute, by battle and by the great 

Triall or judgement by parliament. 

Chap. 6. 

s r I ^He matter of giving judgement by parliament 
JL betweene private and private man, or betweene 
the prince and any private man, be it in matters 
criminall or civill, for land or for heritage doth not 
differ from thorder which I have prescribed, but it pro- 
ceedeth by bill thrise read in ech house and assented 
to as I have saide before, and at the last day confirmed 
and allowed by the prince. Howbeit such bils be 
seeldome receaved, because that great counsell being 
enough occupyed with the publique affaires of the 
realme, will not gladly intermedle it selfe with private 
quarels and questions. 

Triall of judgement by battle. 

Chap. 7. 

'T"" s His is at this present not much used, partly 

JL because of long time the Pope and the cleargie 

to whom in times past we were much subject, alwayes 



cryed against it as a thing damnable and unlawful, 
and partly because in all common wealthes (as to the 
tongue) so to the maners, fashions, habits, yea and 
kindes of trials and judgmentes, and to all other 
thinges that is therein used, time and space of yeares 
bringeth a chaunge. But I could not yet learne that 
it was ever abrogated. So that it remaineth in force, 
whensoever it be demanded. The maner of it is 
described in Briton. / 

The triall by assise or xij. men, & first of the 

three partes which be necessary in judgement. 
Chap. 8. 

THe two first judgementes be absolute supreme 
and without appeale, and so is also the judge- 
ment by the great assise. And because our manner 
of judgementes in England is in many thinges different 
from the fashion used either in Fraunce, or in Italie, 
or in any other place where the Emperors lawes and 
constitutions (called the civill lawes) be put in use, 
it will be necessarie here to make a litle digression, 
to the intent, that that which shalbe said hereafter 
may be better understood. All pursuites and actions 
(we call them in our English tongue pleas) and in 
barbarous (but now usuall) latine placita, taking that 
name abusive of the definitive sentence, which may well 
be called placitum or dpecTov. The French useth the 
same calling in their language, the sentence of their 
judges areste or arest: in which wordes notwith- 
standing after their custome they do not sounde the j, 
but we call placitum the action not the sentence, and 

e 65 


placitare barbarouslie, or to pleade in englishe, agere or 
litigare. Now in all judgements necessarily being two 
parties, the first we call the impleader, suiter, de- 
maunder or demaundaunt and plaintiffe: In criminall 
causes if he professe to be an accuser, we call him 
appellant or appellour, and so accusation we call 
appeale. The other we call the defendant and in 
criminall causes prisoner, for he cannot aunswere in 
causes criminall before he do render himselfe or be 
rendred prisoner. 

"Judex is of us called Judge, but our fashion is so 
diverse that they which give the deadly stroke, and 
either condemne or acquite the man for guiltie or not 
guiltie, are not called Judges but the xij. men. And 
the same order aswell is in civill matters and pecuni- 
arie, as in matters criminall. 

Of pleas or actions. 
Chap. 9. 

PLeas or actions criminall be in English called 
pleas of the crowne, which be all those which 
tende to take away a mans life or any member of 
him, for his evill deserving against the prince and 
common wealth. 

And this name is given not without a cause. For 
taking this for a principle that the life and member 
of an Englishman is in the power onely of the prince 
and his lawes, when any of his subjectes is spoyled 
either of life or member, the prince is endammaged 
thereby, and hath good cause to aske accompt, how 
his subjectes should come to that mischiefe. And 
againe for so much as the prince who governeth the 


scepter, and holdeth the crowne of Englande hath 
this in his care and charge, to see the realme well 
governed, the life, members and possessions of his 
subjectes kept in peace and assuraunce: he that by 
violence shall attempt to breake that peace and assur- 
aunce, hath forfeited against the scepter and crowne 
of England: and therfore not without a cause in all 
inquisitions and inditementes, if any be found by the 
xij. men to have offended in that behalfe, streight the 
prince is saide to be partie, and he that shall speake 
for the prisoner shall be rebuked, as speaking against 
the prince. Neverthelesse it is never defended, but 
the prisoner and partie defendant in any cause may 
alleadge for him, al the reasons, meanes and defences 
that he can, and shall be peaceablie hearde and quietlie : 
But in those pleas and pursuites of the crowne, pro- 
curer or advocate he gettes none, which in civill and 
pecuniarie matters (be it for land, rent, right, or pos- 
session, although he plead against the prince himselfe) 
is never denied. / 

Pleas civill be either personall or reall, personall as \ 
contractes or for injuries: reall be either possessorie 
to aske, or to keepe the possession, or in rem, which 
we cal a writte of right. For that which in the civill 
lawe is called actio or formula , we call a writ in English : 
so the Greekes called it worde for word <ypa<f>r), and in 
our barbarous latine we name it breve. 

And as the olde Romanes had their actions some 
ex jure civili, and some ex jure prcetorio^ and ordinarily 
pr<etor dab at act tones & formulas actionum : so in 
Englande we retaine still this, and have some writtes 
out of the chauncerie, other out of the common place 
or the kings bench. 

E 2 67 


Of the chiefe Tribunals, benches or 

courtes of Englande. 
Chap. io. 

IN times past (as may appeare to him that shall 
with judgement reade the histories and antiquities 
of England) the courtes and benches followed the 
king and his court wheresoever he went, especially 
shortly after the conquest. Which thing being found 
very cumbersome, paineful and chargeable to the 
people, it was agreed by parliament, that there shoulde 
be a standing place where judgement should be given. 
And it hath long time beene used in Westminster hall, 
which king William Rufus builded for the hall of his 
owne house. In that hal be ordinarily seene 3. Tri- 
bunals or Judges seates. At the entrie on the right 
hande, the common place, where civill matters are 
to be pleaded, specially such as touch landes or con- 
tractes. At the upper ende of the hall, on the right 
hand, the kinges bench, where pleas of the crowne 
have their place. And on the left hande sitteth the 
Chauncelor accompanyed with the master of the 
Roules, who in latine may be called custos archivorum 
regis, and certaine men learned in the civill lawe called 
Masters of the chauncerie, in latine they may be 
named Assessores. 



Of the times of pleading called termes, & 

of the Chauncelor and chauncerie. 
Chap. ii. 

TWo things may be moved in question here, how 
all Englande (being so long and so large, and 
having so many shyres and provinces therein) can be 
answered of justice in one place, and in 3. benches 
be they never so great? An other (whereas the 
kinges bench is exercised in criminall causes and in 
all pleas of the crowne, and the common place in all 
civill causes, reall and personall) what place then hath 
the chauncerie? 

The first question will seeme more marvelous and 
have more occasion of doubt, when I shall also tell 
that the lawe is not open at all times, no not the 
third part of the yeare. But where all other cities 
and common wealthes had all the yeare pleas, suites, 
and judgementes. except for certaine holy daies and 
harvest and vintage, or when for some urgent cause 
the lawe was commaunded to be stopped, which is 
called Justitium: Contrarie in ours, it is but fewe times 
open. That is onely foure times in the yeare which 
they call termes. After Michaelmas about ten daies, 
during five or sixe weekes at the least. After Christ- 
mas about a moneth, enduring by the space of three 
weekes. Then from xvii. dayes after Easter by the 
space of three weekes and odde dayes. Likewise from 
the sixt or seventh day after Trinitie Sunday, during 
two weekes and odde daies. All the rest of the yeare 
there is no pleading, entring nor pursuing of actions. 



This small time, and all that but in one place may 
seeme verie injurious to the people, who must be faine 
to suffer much wrong for lacke of Justice and of place 
and time to pleade : but unto that heereafter I entende 
to answere more fully, and in the meane while that 
shall suffice which the wise Cato aunswered to one 
who mooved that the pleading place in Rome might 
be covered over with canvas as their theaters were, 
to the intent that the plaintifes and defendauntes that 
were there might plead their matters more at ease, 
and not be in so much danger of their health by the 
heate of the sunne striking full and open upon their 
heades, which was no smal griefe and disease, specially 
at Rome. Nay (saith Cato) for my part I had rather 
wish that all the waies to the place of pleading were 
cast over with galthrops, that the feete of such as love 
so well pleading, should feele so much, paine of those 
prickes in going thither as their heades doe of the sunne 
in tarrying there : he ment that they were but idle, 
whot heades, busie bodies, and troublesome men in the 
common wealth that did so nourish pleading : good 
labourers and quiet men could bee content to ende their 
matters at home by judgement of their neighbours 
and kinsfolke without spending so their money upon 
procurers and advocates whom we call attornies, coun- 
selled, Sergeantes, and generallie men of lawe. Those 
he accounted profitable citizens, who attende their 
honest labour and businesse at home, and not stande 
waiting and gaping uppon their rolles and processe in 
the lawe : as for the other by his judgement, it was 
S no matter what mischiefe they suffered. To the other 
question of the chancerie, this I answere : That our 
lawe which is called of us the common lawe as ye 


would say "Jus civile, is and standeth upon a/cptySo- 
Si/cais, that is Jus summum : and their maximees be 
taken so straitlie that they may not depart from the 
tenour of the wordes even as the olde civill lawe was. 
And therefore as that lacked the helpe of a Preetor 
(which might moderari Mud jus summum, give actions 
where none was, mitigate the exactnesse and rigour 
of the lawe written, give exceptions, as metus, doli 
mali, minoris cetatis, Cffc. for remedies, and maintaine 
alwaies cequum & bonum :) the same order and rancke 
holdeth our chauncerie, and the chauncellor hath the 
verie authoritie heerein as had the Prater in the olde 
civill law before the time of the Emperours. So he 
that putteth up his bill in the chauncerie, after that 
he hath declared the mischiefe wherein he is, hath 
releefe as in the solemne forum. And for so much 
as in this case hee is without remedie in the common 
lawe, therefore he requireth the chauncellor according 
to equitie and reason to provide for him and to take 
such order as to good conscience shall appertaine. And 
the court of the chauncerie is called of the common 
people the court of conscience, because that the chaun- 
cellor is not strained by rigour or forme of wordes of 
lawe to judge but ex aquo and bono, and according 
to conscience as I have said. And in this court the 
usuall and proper forme of pleading of Englande is 
not used, but the forme of pleading by writing, 
which is used in other countries according to the 
civill lawe : and the tryall is not by xii. men, but by 
the examination of witnesse as in other courtes of 
the civil lawe. / 

7 1 


Of Judges in the common lawe of 

England, and the manner of tryall 
and pleading there. 

Chap. 12. 

THe Prince out of the numbers of those who have 
beene Counsellers or Sergeants at the law, 
which be those who in latin are called causidici or 
advocati, chooseth two of the most approoved for 
learning, age, discretion, and exercise, of whom the 
one is called chiefe Justice of the Kings bench, or 
simply chiefe Justice, the other chiefe Justice of the 
common place, and others to the number of sixe or 
more, which have each an ordinarie fee or stipend of 
the Prince. 

These doe sit at such daies as be terme, which may 
be called Dies legitimi juridici or fasti, in their distinct 
places as I have said before. There they heare the 
pleading of all matters which doe come before them : 
and in civill matters where the pleading is for money 
or land or possession, part by writing, and part by 
declaration and altercation of the advocates the one 
with thother, it doeth so proceede before them till it 
doe come to the issue, which the latines doe call 
statum causa, I doe not meane contestationem litis, but as 
the Rhetoritians doe call statum, we doe most properly 
call it the issue, for there is the place where the 
debate and strife remaineth (as a water held in a 
close and darke vessel issueth out, is voided and 
emptied) and no where else : that stroke well striken 
is the departing of all the quarelles. Issues or status 
in our lawe bee ordinarily two, facti and juris. 


Of the two manner of issues. 
Chap. 13. 

IF the question be of the la we, that is if both the 
parties doe agree upon the fact, and each doe 
claime that by lawe he ought to have it, and will 
still in that sort maintaine their right, then it is called 
a demurrer in lawe: where if in the lawe the case 
seeme to the Judges that sitte doubtfull, it is called 
a checkerchamber case, and all the Judges will meete 
together, and what they shall pronounce to be the 
lawe, that is helde for right, and the other partie 
looseth his action or lande for ever. If the Sergeants 
or counsellors doe stand upon anie point in the law 
which is not so doubtfull, the Judges who be taken 
for most experte biddes him goe forwarde : and if he 
hath no other to say but standeth uppon that point of 
the lawe, that bidding goe forwarde is taken that he 
looseth his action, and the defendant is licensed to 
depart without a day : and this is where the issue or 
question is of the lawe or Juris. So is that case 
where the lawe is not doubtfull according to the 
matter contayned in the declaration, answere, repli- 
cation, rejoinder or triplication, the Judge out of hande 
decideth it. And it is the manner that each partie must 
agree to the other stil in the fact which he cannot 
denie. For if he once come to denie any deede as 
not doone, not his writing, that the man by whome 
the adversarie claimeth was not the adversaries aun- 
cestor, or the evidence which his adversarie bringeth 
is not true, or that his gift was former, or any such 



like exception which is vaileable to abate the action or 
barre the partie : and the other joyneth in the affirma- 
tive and will averre and prove the same, this is called 
the issue, and immediatly all question of the lawe 
ceaseth as agreed by both the parties, that there is 
no question in the lawe. Then as that issue facti is 
founde by the xij men of whom wee shall speake 
heareafter, so the one partie or other looseth his cause 
and action : so that contrarie to the maner of the civill 
lawe where first the fact is examined by witnesses, 
indices, tormentes and such like probations to finde 
out the truth thereof, and that doone the advocats 
doe dispute of the lawe to make of it what they can : 
saying, ex facto jus oritur : heere the Sergeantes or 
counsellers before the Judges doe in passing forewarde 
Vith their pleading determine and agree upon the lawe, 
and for the most part and in manner all actions as 
well criminal as civill, come to the issue and state 
of some fact which is denied of the one partie, and 
averred of the other : which fact being tried by the 
xij men as they find, so the action is wonne or lost. 
/ And /if a man have many peremptorie exceptions 
(peremptorie exceptions I call onely those which can 
make the state and issue) because the xij men be 
commonly rude and ignorant, the partie shalbe com- 
pelled to choose one exception whereupon to founde 
his issue, which chosen if he faile in that by the 
verdite of xij men, he looseth his action and cause, 
and the rest can serve him for nothing. 

Having seene both in France and other places 
manie devises, edictes and ordinaunces howe to abridge 
proces and to finde howe that long suites in law 
might be made shorter: I have not perceived nor 



reade as yet so wise, so just, and so well devised 
a meane found out as this by any man among us 
in Europe. 

Trueth it is that where this fashion hath not 
beene used and to them to whom it is newe, it will 
not be so easily understood, and therfore they may 
peradventure be of contrarie judgement : but the more 
they doe weigh and consider it, the more reasonable 
they shall finde it. 

Howe the issue, question or status juris is decided, 
I have tolde : now I will shewe howe it is tryed when 
it doth come to the question, state or issue of the 
deede or fact. And first I must speake more largely 
of the manner of proceeding in the processe, and 
of such persons as be necessary for the execution 

Of the sherife of the shire, and of the 

court of exchequer. 
Chap. 14. 

THe Romans had to execute the commaunde- 
mentes of the magistrates Lictores, viatores y 
accensos. The civill lawe sith that time hath other 
names, termes, and officers. The execution of the 
commaundementes of the magistrates in England is 
ordinarily doone by the sherifes. The sherife (which 
is as much to say as the Reeve or Bayly of the shire) 
is properly word for word Questor provinc'ue : it is he 
which gathereth uppe and accompteth for the profittes 
of the shire, that come to the exchequer. The ex- 
chequer (which is fiscus principis y or ararium publicum^ 



and I cannot tell in what language it is called Scac- 
carium, some thinks that it was first called statarium, 
because that there was the stable place to account for 
the revenues of the crowne, aswell that which came 
of the patrimony which we cal the demeasnes: as 
that which commeth of other incident acquisitions be 
they rentes, customes, tenthes, quinziesmes, taxes, sub- 
sidies, wheresoever the Prince or his court be according 
to the time and occasion) was a place stable, continual 
and appointed for to recken and account. The hearers 
of the account (who in latin may be called tribuni 
esrarij) have auditors under them which the Latines 
doe call Rationales : but they are the chiefe for the 
accounts of the Prince, and may be called Juridici 
rationales^ in English we cal them Barons of the 
exchequer, whereof is one who is called the chiefe 
Baron, as Tribunus or Juridicus rationalis primus or 
princeps. The chiefe of all is called high treasurer 
of Englande, as you would say in latin Supremus cerarij 
anglici qucestor^ or Tribunus cerarius maximus. In this 
court be heard Quadruplatores (which we call pro- 
moters) which be those that in popular and penall 
action be delatores y having thereby part of the profit 
by the lawe assigned. In this court if anie question 
be, it is determined after the order of the common 
lawe of Englande by the xij men as I have saide : and 
all customers which were in latin called publicarij 
in Greeke TeXdSvai, do account in this office. The 
Sherife of the shire is called in our common latin 
Vicecomes, as one would say vicarius comitis or procomes^ 
doing that service to attende upon the execution of 
the commaundementes of the Tribunalles or Judges 
which the Earle or countie should doe, which Earle or 


Countey for the most part was attending uppon the 
Prince in the warres or otherwise about the Prince 
as the worde beareth, comes principis : whereby it may 
appeare that the chief office of the Countie or Earle 
was to see the kinges Justice to have course and to be 
well executed in the shire or Countie, and the Princes 
revenues well answered and brought in ararium prin- 
cipis y which is called of us the treasurie. 

If any fines or amerciaments, which in latin be 
called multtte, be levied in anie of the saide courtes 
upon any man, or any arrerages of accountes by the 
latins called reliqua^ of such thinges as is of customes, 
taxes, subsidies or any other such occasions, the same 
the sherife of the shire doth gather and is respondent 
therefore in the exchequer. As for other ordinarie 
rentes of patrimoniall landes and most commonly for 
the taxes, customes, and subsidies, there be particular 
receivers and collectors which doe answere it into the 
exchequer. The sherife hath under him an under 
sherife at his charge and appointment learned somewhat 
in the law, especially if he be not learned himselfe, 
and divers bailifes which be called errantes, whom he 
maketh at his pleasure, who can knowe ech lande and 
person in the shire, and their abilitie to goe uppon 
enquestes, either to distreine or to summon him to 
appeare whom the sherife shal appoint, and for this 
cause to the sherifes as to the minister most proper of 
the lawe the writtes be directed. 

When any thing commeth to an issue of the deede 
or fact, there is a writ or writing directed to the 
sherife of the shire where the lande is, whereupon the 
controversie is, or where the man dwelleth of whome 
the money is demaunded, which writ is called venire 



facias. Then after the same effect an alias, pluries or 
distringas according to the nature of the action to the 
returne of the sherife. And if for any disobedience of 
not comming and appearing there be a fine (which the 
latins doe call Multta) set upon any iurors head, the 
sherife is charged with it, and taketh the distresses 
which in latin be called Pignora, and answereth there- 
fore to the exchequer. The sherife also is readie by 
himselfe or by his undersherife to serve aswell the 
Justices of peace in their quarter sessions as the Justices 
called Itinerantes in their great assises, when they come 
into the shire, which is twise in the yeare, to dispatch 
and voide actions criminall and civil depending at the 
common law, and which be come nowe to the issue. 
He hath also the charge of all the prisoners committed 
to the prison which we call the gaole, and when any 
is condemned to die, it is his charge to see the sentence 
executed. To be short, he is as it were the generall 
minister and highest for execution of such commaunde- 
mentes according to the lawe as the Judges do ordaine, 
and this is ynough for the sherife. 

Of the xij. men. 

Chap. 15. 

f\ F what manner and order of men in the common 
V— / welth the xij men be I have alreadie declared. 
The sherife alwaies warneth xxiiij to appeare, least 
peradventure any might be sicke or have a just cause 
of absence : and if there be not enowe to make an 
enquest, the absentes be amersed. For although they 
be called xij men as a man would say duodecim viri, 
yet if they be xvj, xx or the whole number of xxiv, that 



is no matter, xij they must be at the least to make an 
enquest or as some call it a quest. An enquest or 
quest is called this lawefull kinde of tryall by xij men. 
In actions civill which is either of contractes or for 
lande or possession when so many of those which be 
warned appeare at the call as be able to make an en- 
quest, which as I saide before be no lesse then xii, either 
part when they be come taketh their chalenges against 
so many of them as they will, which be that he may 
not spende so much lande a yeare, he is alied, feed, or 
servant to his adverse partie, he is his enemie &c. And 
two of the whole number doe trie and allowe or dis- 
allowe the rest. If after exceptions there be so many 
rejected that there is not a full enquest, in some cases 
that day is lost, in some the enquest is filled ex circum- 
stantibus : when the quest is ful, they be sworne to 
declare the truth of that issue according to the evi- 
dence and their conscience. Then the Sergeantes of 
either side declare the issue, and each for his client 
sayth as much as he can. Evidences of writinges be 
shewed, witnesses be sworne, and heard before them, 
not after the fashion of the civill law but openly, that 
not only the xii, but the Judges, the parties and as 
many as be present may heare what ech witnesse doeth 
say : The adverse partie or his advocates which wee 
call counsellers and sergeants interrogateth sometime 
the witnesses, and driveth them out of countenance. 
Although this may seeme strange to our civillians 
nowe, yet who readeth Cicero and Quintillian well 
shall see that there was no other order and maner of 
examining witnesses or deposing among the Romans 
in their time. When it is thought that it is enough 
pleaded before them, and the witnesses have saide what 



they can, one of the Judges with a briefe and pithie 
recapitulation reciteth to the xii in summe the argu- 
mentes of the sergeantes of either side, that which the 
witnesses have declared, and the chiefe pointes of the 
evidence shewed in writing, and once againe putteth 
them in minde of the issue, and sometime giveth it 
them in writing, delivering to them the evidence which 
is shewed on either part, if any be, (evidence heere is 
called writings of contractes autentical after the man- 
ner of England, that is to say, written, sealed and 
delivered) and biddeth them goe together. Then there 
is a baylife charged with them to keepe them in a 
chamber not farre off without bread, drinke, light, or 
fire untill they be agreed, that is, till they all agree 
upon one verdite concerning the same issue, and 
uppon one among them who shall speake for them all 
when they be agreed: for it goeth not by the most 
part, but each man must agree. They returne and in 
so fewe wordes as may be they give their determina- 
tion : fewe I call vi or vii or viii wordes at the most 
(for commonly the issue is brought so narrow, that 
such number of words may be ynough to affirme or to 
denie it) which doone they are dismissed to goe 
whither they will. The partie with whom they have 
given their sentence, giveth the enquest their dinner 
that day most commonly, and this is all that they have 
for their labour, notwithstanding that they come some 
xx some xxx or xl miles or more, to the place where 
they give their verdite all, the rest is of their owne 
charge. And necessarilie all the whole xii must be of 
the shire and iiii of them of the hundred where the 
lande lyeth which is in controversie, or where the 
partie dwelleth who is the defendant. 


Of parties of Shires called hundreds, 

lathes, rapes, wapentakes. 

Chap. 16. 

AN hundred, or lath, rape, or wapentake be called of 
J~ \. the divisions or partes of shires in divers countries 
diversly named after the manner and language of each 
countrey. For the shires be divided some into x. xii. 
xiii. xvi. xx. or xxx. hundreds, more or lesse, either that 
they were at the first C. townes and villages in eche 
hundred : and although now they be but xvi. xx. xxx. 
xl. 1. lx. more or lesse, yet it is still called an hundred, 
or else there were but so many at the first as be nowe, 
or a fewe more or lesse, and they did finde the king to 
his warres an hundred able men. Lath, and rape I 
take to be names of service, for that so many townes 
in old time, and in the first povertie of the Realme 
did meete together in one day to carrie the Lordes 
come into his barne, which is called in olde English 
a Lath. Or that they mette at commaundement of 
the Lorde to reape his corne. 

Wapentake I suppose came of the Danes or per- 
adventure of the Saxons. For that so manie townes 
came by their orders then, to one place, where was 
taken a mouster of their armour and weapons, in which 
place from them that could not finde sufficient pledges 
for their good abearing, their weapons were taken 
away: weapen or wapen in olde English doe signifie 
all armes offensive, as sworde, dagger, spear, launce, 
bill, bowes, arrowes. 

Of the place where the monsters were taken or 
where the saide services were doone, the hundreds, 

f 81 


Lathes, Rapes, and wapentakes had and have yet their 
names, which be most commonly good townes, and it 
is to be thought at the first they were all such. But 
sometime nowe in places whereof the hundred hath 
the name, no mention nor memorie of a towne re- 
maineth, such mutation time bringeth with it of all 
thinges. A hundred hath one or two high Constables, 
who hath some authoritie over all the lower, and 
particular Constables. Those high Constables bee 
made by the Justices of the peace of the shire, and 
each hundred hath his baylife, who is made by the 
Lorde if any hath that libertie, or else by the sherife 
of the shire for the time being. 

Of the court Baron. 
Chap. 17. 

/ T T may appeare strange that of xxxvi shires, whereof 
A each shire is divided into divers hundreds, each 
hundred containing diverse parishes, all pleading should 
be but in one place, that is in Westminster hall, and 
that but in certaine times of the yeare, making little 
more than one quarter of the yeare in the whole. 
And one would thinke that there should be much lacke 
of Justice and right, and much wrong taken without 
redresse. But it is not so: The people being accus- 
tomed to live in such an equalitie of Justice, and that 
in such sort that the rich hath no more advantage 
therein than the poore, the proces, and proceedinges to 
the judgement being so short, and judgementes also 

v^ being peremptorie and without appellation : Yet to 
helpe for small matters, where no great summe is in 


question there are other courtes. In everie shire from s 
three weekes to three weekes the sherife for small 
thinges not passing xl. s. and in certaine hundreds and 
liberties the baylie likewise from three weekes to three 
weekes holdeth plea. And whosoever is possessioner 
and owner of a mannor, may holde from three weekes 
to three weekes, or at his pleasure of his tennantes and 
amongest his tennantes a court called a court Baron. 
And there his tennantes being sworne make a Jurie 
which is not called the enquest, but the homage. 
These principallie doe enquire of the copie holders, 
and other free holders that be dead sith the last court, 
and bring in their heires, and next successours, and 
likewise of incrochment or intrusion of anie of the 
tennantes against the Lorde, or among themselves. 
They make orders and lawes amongest themselves, 
the paine of them if they be after broken, commeth 
to the Lorde. And if anie small matter be in con- 
troversie, it is put to them, and commonly they doe 
ende it. But these courtes doe serve rather for men 
that can be content to be ordered by their neighbours, 
and which love their quiet and profit in their hus- 
bandrie, more than to be busie in the lawe. For 
whether partie soever will, may procure a writte out 
of the higher court to remoove the plea to West- 
minster. ' 

In cities and other great townes there be diverse 
liberties to holde plea for a bigger summe, which doe 
determine aswell as the common lawe, and after the 
same manner, and yet for them that will, it may be 
remooved to Westminster hall. 

King Henrie the eight ordained first a president, 

Counsellers and Judges, one for the marches of Wales, 

F2 83 


at Ludlowe, or else where : an other for the north 
parts of Englande at Yorke, where be manie causes 
determined. These two are as be Parliaments in 
Fraunce. But yet if there be anie matter of great 
consequence, the partie may moove it at the first, or 
remoove it afterwardes to Westminster hall, and to the 
ordinarie Judges of the Realme, or to the Chaunceller, 
as the matter is. 

These two courtes doe heare matters before them, 
part after the common lawe of Englande, and part 
after the fashion of the chauncerie. 

Of the Leete or lawe day. 

Chap. 18. 

T Eete or law day is not incident to everie mannor, 
1 — j but to those onely which by special graunt, 
or long prescription have such libertie. This was as 
it may appeare first a speciall trust and confidence and 
commission given to a fewe put in trust by the Prince, 
as is nowe to the Justices of peace, to see men sworne 
to the Prince, to take pledges and suerties in that maner 
of one for an other to answere for obedience and truth, 
to enquire of privie conspiracies, fraies, murders, and 
bloudsheddes, and to this was added the oversight of 
bread and ale, and other measures. Many times they 
that be out of the homage and court Baron of that 
mannor and Lordship, be nevertheless astreined and 
answerable to come to the Leete. This Leete is ordi- 
narily kept but twise in the yeare, and that at termes 
and times prescribed. 


The Leete or Lawe day is all one, and betokeneth 
worde for worde, legittimum or iuridicum diem. Lawe 
the olde Saxons called /ant or /ag y and so by corruption 
and chaunging of language from Lant to Leete, under- 
standing day. They which keepe our full english 
terme, call it yet lawe day. 

Of the proceedinges of causes cri- 

minall, and first of the Justices 
of the Peace. 

Chap. 19. 

BEfore the maner of proceeding in causes crimi- 
nall can be well understood, it will be necessarie 
to speake of three persons, the Justices of peace, the 
Coroners, and the Constables. The Justices of peace 
be men elected out of the nobilitie, higher and lower, 
that is the Dukes, Marquises, Barons, Knightes, Es- 
quiers, and Gentlemen, and of such as be learned in 
the lawes, such and in such number as the Prince 
shall thinke meete, and in whome for wisedome and 
discretion he putteth his trust, inhabitantes within the 
countie: saving that some of the high nobilitie and 
chiefe magistrates for honors sake are put in all, or 
in the most of the commissions of all the shires of 
England. These have no time of their rule limited 
but by commission from the Prince alterable at pleasure. 
At the first they were but iiij, after viij, nowe they 
come commonly to xxx or xl in everie shire, either by 
increase of riches, learning, or activitie in policie and 
governement. So manie more beeing founde, which 



have either will, or power, or both, are not too manie 
to handle the affaires of the common wealth in this 
behalfe. Of these in the same commission be certaine 
named, which be called of the Quorum, in whome is 
especiall trust reposed, that where the commission is 
given to xl or xxx, and so at the last it commeth to 
iiij or three, it is necessarie for the performance of 
many affaires to have likewise diverse of the Quorum. 
The wordes of the commission be such, Quorum vos 
A B. CD. E F. vnum esse volumus. 
f The Justices of the peace be those in whom at 
this time for the repressing of robbers, theeves, and 
vagabunds, of privie complots and conspiracies, of riotes, 
and violences, and all other misdemeanors in the com- 
mon wealth, the Prince putteth his special trust. Each 
of them hath authoritie upon complaint to him made 
of any theft, robberie, manslaughter, murder, violence, 
complotes, riottes, unlawefull games, or any such dis- 
turbance of the peace, and quiet of the Realme, to 
commit the persons whom he supposeth offendors, to 
the prison, and to charge the Constable or sherife to 
bring them thither, the gaoler to receave them and 
keepe them till he and his fellowes doe meete. A fewe 
lines signed with his hande is ynough for that purpose : 
these doe meete foure times in the yeere, that is, in 
each quarter once, to enquire of all the misdemeanors 
aforesaide : at which daies the sherife, or his undersherife 
with his baylifes be there to attende uppon him, who 
must prepare against that time fower enquestes of xxiiij 
yeomen a peece of diverse hundredes in the shire, and 
besides one which is called the great enquest out of 
the bodie of the shire mingled with all. These five 
enquests are sworne before them to enquire of all 


heretiques, traitors, theftes, murders, manslaughters, 
rapes, false moniers, extortioners, riottes, routes, forcible 
entries, unlawefull games, and all such thinges as be 
contrarie to the peace and good order of the Realme, 
and to bring in their verdict. If they among themselves 
upon their owne knowledge doe finde any culpable, 
they cause one of the clerkes to make the bill. And 
if any be there to complaine uppon any man for these 
faults, he putteth in his bil, which bil is presented 
first to the Justices sitting upon the bench, to see if it 
be conceived in forme of lawe, which doone the com- 
plainant doth deliver it to one of these enquests, and 
after the complainant is sworne, he declareth to them 
what he can, for the profe of it. And if they finde 
it true they do nothing but write on the backeside of 
it, billa vera, as ye would say, scriptum verum : or accu- 
satio iusta, or reus est qui accusatur : Then he who is 
there named is called indicted. 

If they do not finde it true, they write on the 
backside ignoramus, and so deliver it to the Justices of 
whome it is rent into peeces immediatly : he that is 
indicted is accounted a lawefull prisoner, and after 
that time looked more streitly unto. For this indite- 
ment is no conviction : and if he be indicted, and be 
not alreadie in prison, the sherife if he can finde him, 
bringeth him into prison : if he cannot finde him, 
proces is made out against him, to render himselfe 
prisoner, or else hee shalbe outlawed. So he is called 
three times in diverse countie daies to render himselfe 
to the lawe. The fourth is called the exigent, by 
which he is outlawed not rendring himselfe, as ye 
would say : exaftus or actus in exilium. The outlawe 
looseth all his goods to the King for his disobedience. 



But if after he wil render himselfe to answere to the 
lawe, and shewe some reasonable cause of his absence, 
manie times of grace his outlawerie is pardoned. These 
meetinges of the Justices of peace foure times in the 
yeare, be called quarter sessions or sessions of enquirie, 
because that nothing is there determined touching the 
malefactors, but onely the custodie of them : and this 
kinde of proceeding which is by inquisition of the xij 
men within themselves, and their owne consciences, 
or by denunciation of him that putteth in his bill to 
the xij, is called at the kings suite, and the king is 
reckoned the one partie, and the prisoner the other. 
The Justices of the peace doe meete also at other 
times by commandement of the Prince upon suspition 
of warre, to take order for the safetie of the shire, 
sometimes to take musters of harnes and able men, 
and sometime to take orders for the excessive wages 
of servaunts and labourers, for excesse of apparell, for 
unlawefull games, for conventicles and evill orders in 
alehouses, and tavernes, for punishment of idle and 
vagabund persons, and generally as I have saide, for 
the good governement of the shire, the Prince putteth 
his confidence in them. And commonly every yeare, 
or each seconde yeare in the beginning of summer 
or afterwardes, (for in the warme time the people for 
the most part be more unrulie) even in the calme time 
of peace, the Prince with his counsell chooseth out 
certaine articles out of penall lawes alreadie made for 
to represse the pride and evill rule of the popular, and 
sendeth them downe to the Justices, willing them to 
looke upon those pointes, and after they have mette 
together and consulted among themselves, howe to 
order that matter most wisely and circumspectly, 


whereby the people might be kept in good order and 
obedience after the lawe, they divide themselves by 
three or foure : and so each in his quarter taketh order 
for the execution of the saide articles. And then 
within certaine space they meete againe and certifie 
the Prince or his privie counsell how they do finde the 
shire in rule and order touching those pointes and all 
other disorders. There was never in any common 
wealth divised a more wise, a more dulce and gentle, 
nor a more certaine way to rule the people, whereby 
they are kept alwaies as it were in a bridle of good 
order, and sooner looked unto that they should not 
offend, than punished when they have offended. For 
seeing the chiefe amongst them, their rulers to have 
this speciall charge and doe call upon it, and if occasion 
so doe present, one or two presently either punished or 
sent to prison for disobedience to those olde orders and 
lawes, they take a feare within themselves, they amende 
and doe promise more amendment. So that it is as 
a newe forbushing of the good lawes of the realme, 
and a continuall repressing of disorders, which doe 
naturally rest among men. But as the invention of 
this, and the use and execution thereof is the most 
benefitte that can be devised for the common wealth of 
Englande : So when it shalbe misused, dissembled 
with, or be contemned, and be doone pro forma tantum, 
and as they terme it in Fraunce par mainere d'acquit 
onely, it will be the present ruine (though not at the 
first apperceiued) of the common wealth. Of which 
the fault may be as well in the commaunders for not 
making good choice what and howe they commaunde, 
as in the commaunded, for not executing that which is 



Of hue and crie and recognisaunce 

taking uppon them that may 
give evidence. 

Chap. 20. 

BY the olde lawe of Englande if any theft, or 
robberie be doone, if he that is robbed, or he that 
seeth or perceiveth that any man is robbed doe levie 
hue and crie, that is to say, doe call and crie for aide, 
and say that a theft or robberie is doone contrarie to 
the Princes peace and assurance : The Constable of 
the village to whom he doth come, and so make that 
crie, ought to raise the parish to aide him and seeke the 
theefe, and if the theefe be not founde in that parish, to 
go to the next and raise that Constable, and so still by 
the Constables and them of the parish one after an 
other. This hue and crie from parish to parish is 
caried, till the theefe or robber be founde. That 
parish which doeth not his dutie, but letteth by their 
negligence the theefe to depart, doth not onely paie a 
fine to the king, but must repaie to the partie robbed 
his dammages. So that everie English man is a sergiant 
to take the theefe, and who sheweth himselfe negligent 
therein, doth not only incur evill opinion therefore, but 
hardly shall escape punishment : what is doone with 
the theefe or robber when he is taken, I shall shewe 
you hereafter. The same manner is followed if anie 
man bee slaine, for streight the murtherer is pursued of 
everie man till he be taken. So soone as any is brought 
to the Justices of peace by this hue or crie, by the 
Constable or anie other who doth pursue the male- 
factor, he doeth examine the malefactor, and writeth 


the examination and his confession : then he doth 
binde the partie that is robbed or him that sueth, and 
the Constable, and so manie as can give evidence 
against the malefactor to be at the next sessions of gaole 
deliverie to give their evidence for the Queene. He 
bindeth them in recognisance of x.l'. xx.l\ xxx.l'. xl.l'. 
or C. P. according to his discretion, and the qualitie of 
the crime : which certified under his hande, is levied 
upon the recognizance if they faile of being there. 

Of the Coroner. 
Chap. 21. 

BUt if anie man, woman, or child, be violently 
slaine, the murtherer not knowen, no man ought 
or dare burie the bodie before the Coroner hath seene it. 
The Coroner is one chosen by the Prince of the 
meaner sort of gentlemen, and for the most part a man 
seene in the lawes of the Realme to execute that office. 
And if the person slaine, (slaine I cal here, whosoever 
he be, man, woman, or childe that violently commeth 
to his death, whether it be by knife, poyson, cord, 
drowning, burning, suffocation, or otherwise, be it by 
his owne fault or default, or by any other) if (I say) 
the person slaine be buried before the Coroner doe 
come (which for the most part men dare not doe) he 
doeth cause the bodie to be taken up againe, and to be 
searched, and upon the sight of the bodie so violently 
come to his death, he doth empanell an enquest of xij 
men or mo, of those which come next by, be they 
strangers or inhabitantes, which upon their othes, and 
by the sight or viewe of the bodie, and by such informa- 



tions as they can take, must search howe the person 
slaine came to his death, and by whome as the doer or 
causer thereof. These are not inclosed into a streit 
place, (as I tolde before of other enquestes) but are 
suffered to goe at large, and take a day, sometime after 
xx or xxx daies, more or lesse, as the fact is more 
evident, or more kept close, to give their evidence, at 
which day they must appeare there againe before the 
saide Coroner to give their verdict. So sometime the 
person slaine himselfe, sometime the brother, the hus- 
bande, the wife, the sister, some of acquaintance or 
stranger, such as God wil have reveiled, be taken. For 
whosoever they doe finde as guiltie of the murder, he is 
streight committed to prison, and this is against him in 
the nature of an inditement, which is not a full con- 
demnation, as ye shall see heereafter. 

The empanelling of this enquest, and the viewe of 
the bodie, and the giving of the verdict, is commonly in 
the streete in an open place, and in Corona populi : but 
I take rather that this name commeth because that the 
death of everie subject by violence is accounted to touch 
the crowne of the Prince, and to be a detriment unto 
it, the Prince accounting that his strength, power, and 
crowne doth stande and consist in the force of his 
people, and the maintenaunce of them in securitie and 

Of the Constables. 
Chap. 22. 

THese men are called in the elder bookes of our 
lawes of the Realme custodes pads, and were at 
the first in greater reputation than they be nowe. It 


may appeare that there was a credit given unto them 
not altogether unlike to that which is now given to 
the Justices of peace. To this day if any affraie 
chaunce to be made, the Constables ought and will 
charge them that be at debate to keepe the Princes 
peace : and whosoever refuseth to obey the Constable 
therein, all the people will set streight upon him, and 
by force make him to render himself to be ordered. 
Likewise if any be suspected of theft, or receiving, or 
of murther, or of manslaughter, the Constable may 
take such persons, yea enter into any mans house with 
sufficient power to search for such men till he finde 
them : and if hee see cause keepe the suspected persons 
in the stockes, or custodie, til he bring them before 
a Justice of the peace to be examined. But for so 
much as everie litle village hath commonly two Con- 
stables, and many times artificers, labourers and men of 
small abilitie be chosen unto that office, who have no 
great experience, nor knowledge, nor authoritie, the 
Constables at this present (although this they may do 
uppon their owne authoritie) yet they seeme rather to 
be as it were the executors of the commaundement of 
the Justices of peace. For the Justice of peace as soon ' 
as he understandeth by complaint that any man hath 
stolen, robbed, slaine, or any servant or labourer with- 
out licence hath departed out of his maisters service, or 
any that liveth idle and suspectly, knowing once in 
what parish he is, he writeth to the Constable of the 
parish, commanding him in the Princes name to bring 
that man before him : the Constable dareth not dis- 
obey. The man is brought and examined by the 
Justice, and if the Justice doe finde cause, hee com- 
mitteth him to the same Constable to convey him 



further to the Princes gaole, where the partie must 
lie till the Justices of peace doe meete either at their 
quarter sessions, or at their gaole deliverie, and that the 
lawe hath either condemned or acquited him. These 
Constables are called in some places headborowes, in 
some places tithingmen, and be like to them, who are 
called Consuls in manie townes and villages in Fraunce. 
The Constables are commonlie made and sworne at 
the Leetes of the Lordes, chosen thereto by the 
homage, and they keepe that office sometime ij. iij or 
iiij yeare, more or lesse, as the parish doth agree. 
What headborow doth betoken it is easily knowen, our 
language doth declare him as the head or chiefe of the 
borowe or village : likewise tithing man is the cheife of 
the tithing. Constable seemeth to me to come of our 
olde English word kinnyng, which is Kinnyngstab/e, as 
ye would say a man established by the king, for such 
thinges as appertaineth to pleas of the crowne and 
conservation of the Kings peace, and as I saide at the 
first were in some more reputation, approching to 
that authoritie which the Justices of peace nowe doth 

Of the sessions of gaole deliverie, and 

the definitive proceedinges in 
causes criminall. 

Chap. 23. 

HOwe theeves and murtherers and other male- 
factors against the crowne and the peace are 
taken and brought into holde to answere to iustice, 
partly by hue and crie, partly by information, and 
partly by the diligence of the Justices of peace and the 



Constables, and howe that at the quarter sessions they 
be indicted, or else by the Coroners yee have hearde 
before. Enditement (as yee may perceive by that\< 
which is also gone before) is but a former judgement 
of xij men which be called enquirers, and no definitive 
sentence, but that which in latin is called prtsjudicium, 
it doeth but shewe what opinion the countrey hath 
of the malefactor : and therefore commonly men be 
indicted absent, not called to it, nor knowing of it. 
For though a man be endicted, yet if when he come to 
the arainemenf, there be no man to pursue further, nor 
no evidence of witnesse or other triall and indices 
against him, he is without difficultie acquited. No man 
that is once indicted can be delivered without araine- 
ment. For as xij have given a prejudice against him, 
so xij againe must acquite or condemne him. But if 
the prisoner be not indicted, but sent to prison upon 
some suspition or suspitious behaviour, and none doe 
pursue him to the enditement, first being proclaimed 
thus, A. B. prisoner standeth heere at the barre, if any 
man can say any thing against him, let him now 
speake, for the prisoner standeth at his deliveraunce : if 
no man doe then come, hee is delivered without any 
further proces or trouble, agreeing first with the gaoler 
for his fees. And these be called acquited by pro- 
clamation. Twise everie yeare the one is commonly 
in lent what time there is vacation from pleading in 
Westminster hall, the other is in the vacation in 
summer. The Prince doth sende downe into everie 
shire of Englande certaine of his Judges of Westminster 
hall, and some Seargeantes at the lawe with commission 
to heare and determine joyntly with the Justices of the 
peace all matters criminall and all prisoners which be 



in the gaoles. These Judges doe goe from shire to 
shire till they have doone their circuit of so manie 
shires as be appointed to them for that yeare : at the 
ende of the terme going before their circuit it is written 
and set up in Westminster hall on what day and in 
what place they will be. That day there meeteth all 
the Justices of the peace of that shire, the sherife of 
that shire, who for that time beareth their charges, and 
asketh after allowance for it in the Exchequer. The 
sherife hath readie for criminall causes (as I writ before 
at the sessions of inquire) iiij. v. or vj. enquestes readie 
warned to appeare that day to serve the Prince, and so 
manie more as he is commaunded to have readie to go 
in civill matters betwixt private men, which they call 
Nisi prius, because that worde is in the writ. 

In the towne house, or in some open or common 
place, there is a tribunall or place of judgement made 
aloft upon the highest bench, there sitteth the two 
Judges which be sent downe in Commission in the 
midst. Next them on eche side, sitteth the Justices 
of peace, according to their estate and degree. On a 
lower bench before them, the rest of the Justices of 
the peace, and some other gentlemen or their clarkes. 
Before these Judges and Justices, there is a table set 
beneath, at which sitteth the Custos rotulorum, or keeper 
of writtes, Thexchetor, the undershirife, and such 
clarkes as doe write. At the end of that table, there 
is a barre made with a space for thenquestes and xij 
men to come in when they are called, behind that 
space another barre, and there stand the prisoners which 
be brought thither by the gaoler all chained one to 
another. Then the cryer crieth, and commaundeth 
silence. One of the Judges briefely telleth the cause of 


their comming, and giveth a good lesson to the people. 
Then the prisoners are called for by name, and bidden 
to aunswere to their names. And when the Custos 
rotulorum hath brought forth their enditements, the 
Judges do name one or two or three of the prisoners 
that are endicted, whom they will have arraigned. 
There the clarke speaketh first to one of the prisoners : 
A. B. come to the barre, hold up thy hand. The 
clarke goeth on : A. B. thou by the name of A. B. of 
such a towne, in such a countie, art endicted, that such 
a day, in such a place, thou hast stolen with force and 
armes an horse, which was such ones, of such a colour, 
to such a valor, and carried him away feloniouslie, and 
contrarie to the peace of our soveraigne Ladie the 
Queene. What sayest thou to it, art thou guiltie or 
not guiltie ? If he will not aunswere, or not aunswere 
directly guiltie or not guiltie, after he hath beene once 
or twise so interrogated, he is judged mute, that is 
dumme by contumacie, and his condemnation is to be 
pressed to death, which is one of the cruellest deathes 
that may be : he is layd upon a table, and an other 
uppon him, and so much weight of stones or lead laide 
uppon that table, while as his bodie be crushed, and his 
life by that violence taken from him. This death some 
strong and stout hearted man doth choose, for being 
not condemned of felonie, his bloud is not corrupted, 
his lands nor goods confiscate to the Prince, which in 
all cases of felonie are commonly lost from him and 
his heires, if he be forejudged, that is condemned for a 
felon by the lawe. If he confesse the enditement to 
be true, then when he is arraigned, no xii. men goeth 
upon him, there resteth but the Judges sentence, of the 
paine of death. 

g 97 


If he pleade not guiltie, as commonly all theeves, 
robbers, and murtherers doe, though they have con- 
fessed the fact before the Justice of the peace that 
examined them, though they be taken with the maner, 
which in Latine they call in flagranti crimine, howe- 
soever it be, if he pleade there not guiltie, the Clarke 
asketh him howe he will be tryed, and telleth him he 
must saie, by God and the Countrie, for these be the 
words formall of this triall after Inditement, and where 
the Prince is partie : if the prisoner doe say so, I will 
be tryed by God and the Countrie, then the Clarke 
replyeth, Thou hast beene endicted of such a crime, 
&c. Thou hast pleaded not guiltie : being asked how 
thou wilt be tryed, thou hast aunswered by God and 
by the Countrie. Loe these honest men that be come 
here, be in the place and stead of the Countrie : and if 
thou hast any thing to say to any of them, looke upon 
them well and nowe speake, for thou standest upon thy 
life and death. Then calleth he in the first Juror. 
B. C. come to the booke, and so giveth him an othe to 
goe uprightlie betwixt the Prince and the prisoner, &c. 
If the prisoner objecteth nothing against him, he calleth 
an other, and so an other, till there be xii. or above : 
and for the most part the prisoner can say nothing 
against them, for they are chosen but for that day, and 
are unknowen to him, nor they know not him, as I 
said being substantial yeomen, that dwell about the 
place, or at the least in the hundred, or neere where 
the felonie is supposed to be committed, men acquainted 
with daily labour and travaile, and not with such idle 
persons, as be readie to doe such mischiefes. 

When the enquest is full, and the prisoner hath 
objected nothing against them, as in deede seldome he 


doeth, for the cause above rehearsed : The clarke saith 
to the cryer, countes, (in French as ye would say recken) 
and so nameth all those that be on the quest. The 
crier at everie name cryeth aloude, one, then ii. iii. iiii. 
and so till the number be full of xii. or more, and then 
saith good men and true : and then sayth aloude : If 
any can give evidence, or can saie any thing against the 
prisoner, let him come nowe, for he standeth upon his 
deliverance. If no man come in, then the Judge asketh 
who sent him to prison, who is commonly one of the 
Justices of peace. He if he be there delivereth up the 
examination which he tooke of him, and underneath 
the names of those whom he hath bound to give evi- 
dence, although the malefactor hath confessed the crime 
to the Justice of the peace, and that appeare by his 
hande and confirmation, the xij. men will acquite the 
prisoner, but they which should give evidence pay their 
recognizaunce. Howbeit this doth seldome chaunce, 
except it be in small matters, and where the Justices of 
peace, who sent the prisoner to the gaole, is away. If 
they which be bound to give evidence come in, first is 
read the examination, which the Justice of peace doeth 
give in : then is heard (if he be there) the man robbed 
what he can say, being first sworne to say trueth, and 
after the Constable, and as many as were at the appre- 
hension of the malefactor : and so many as can say 
any thing being sworn one after an other to say truth. 
These be set in such a place as they may see the Judges 
and the Justices, the enquest and the prisoner, and 
heare them, and be heard of them all. The Judge 
first after they be sworne, asketh first the partie robbed, 
if he knowe the prisoner, and biddeth him looke upon 
him : he saith yea, the prisoner sometime saith nay. 
G 2 99 


The partie pursuivaunt giveth good ensignes verbi 
gratia, I knowe thee well ynough, thou robbedst me in 
such a place, thou beatest mee, thou tookest my horse 
from mee, and my purse, thou hadst then such a coate 
and such a man in thy companie : the theefe will say 
no, and so they stand a while in altercation, then he 
telleth al that he can say : after him likewise all those 
who were at the apprehension of the prisoner, or who 
can give any indices or tokens which we call in our 
language evidence against the malefactor. When the 
Judge hath heard them say inough, he asketh if they 
can say any more : if they say no, then he turneth his 
speeche to the enquest. Good men (saith he) ye of the 
enquest, ye have heard what these men say against the 
prisoner, you have also heard what the prisoner can say 
for himselfe, have an eye to your othe, and to your 
duetie, and doe that which God shall put in your mindes 
to the discharge of your consciences, and marke well 
what is saide. Thus sometime with one enquest is 
passed to the number of ij. or iij. prisoners : For if they 
should be charged with more, the inquest will say, my 
Lord, we pray you charge us with no more, it is 
ynough for our memorie. Many times they are charged 
but with one or two. At their departing, they have in 
writing nothing given them, but the enditement, the 
clarke repeating to them the effect of it, and shewing 
more, that if they flnde him guiltie, they shall enquire 
what goods, lands, and tenements, the saide person 
had at the time of the felonie committed : and if they 
finde any, they shal bring it in : if no, they shal say so. 
If they finde him, not guiltie, they shall enquire whether 
he fled for the felonie or no. 

And there is a bailife to waite upon them, and to 



see that no man doe speake with them, and that they 
have neither bread, drinke, meate, ne fire brought to 
them, but there to remaine in a chamber together till 
they agree. If they be in doubt of any thing that is 
saide, or would heare againe some of them that give 
evidence to interrogate them more at full, or if any 
that can give evidence come late : it is permitted that 
any that is sworne to say the trueth, may be interro- 
gated of them to enforme their consciences. This is 
to be understood although it will seeme straunge to all 
nations that doe use the civill Lawe of the Romane 
Emperours, that for life and death there is nothing put 
in writing but the enditement onely. All the rest is 
doone openlie in the presence of the Judges, the 
Justices, the enquest, the prisoner, and so manie as will 
or can come so neare as to heare it, and all depositions 
and witnesses given aloude, that all men may heare 
from the mouth of the depositors and witnesses what is 
saide. As of this, so is it of all other prisoners after the 
same sort. By that time that the enquests for the 
prisoners be dispatched, it is commonlie dinner time, the 
Judges and Justices goe to dinner, and after dinner 
returne to the same place : if the enquest be not readie 
for the prisoners, they goe to some other enquests of 
nisi prius, which be civill matters and private to drive 
out the time. The enquestes have no sooner agreed 
upon their charge one way or other, but they tell the 
Bailife, and pray to be heard, and considering that 
they be themselves all this while as prisoners as I saide 
before, it is no marvell, though they make expedition. 
The prisoners be sent for againe to the barre, the 
enquest which hath agreed, is called for eche one of the 
Jurie by his name, to which he answereth. Then the 



clarke asketh if they be agreed, and who shall speake 
for them. One or moe saith yea. He that speaketh 
for them all is called the foreman, and commonlie it is 
he that is first sworne : then the prisoner is bidden to 
holde up his hande. The clarke saith unto him, Thou 
art endicted by the name of A. of such a place, &c. 
being therefore arraigned thou pleadest thereto not 
guiltie, being asked howe thou would be tryed, thou 
saydst by God and thy countrie. These honest men 
were given to thee by God and thy Prince for thy 
Countrey : Hearken what they say. Then he asketh 
of the enquest, what say you ? Is he guiltie or not 
guiltie ? The foreman maketh aunswere in one worde, 
guiltie, or in two, not guiltie : the one is deadlie, the 
other acquiteth the prisoner. So that neither Judge 
nor Justice hath to doe, or can reverse, alter or chaunge 
that matter, if they say guiltie. The clarke asketh 
what landes, tenements, or goods, the prisoner had at 
the time of the felonie committed, or at any time after. 
Commonlie it is aunswered that they knowe not, nor 
it shall not greatly neede, for the Sherife is diligent 
enough to enquire of that, for the Princes and his owne 
advantage, and so is the excheator also. 

Of him whom the xij. men pronounce guiltie, the 
Judge asketh what he can say for himself : if he can 
reade,he demaundeth his Clergie. For in many felonies, 
as in theft of oxen, sheepe, money, or other such 
things, which be no open robberies, by the high way 
side, nor assaulting one by night in his house, putting 
him that is there in feare, such is the favour of our 
Lawe, that for the first fault the felon shalbe admitted 
to his Clergie, for which purpose the Bishop must send 
one with authoritie under his seale to be Judge in that 


matter at everie gaole deliverie. If the condemned 
man demandeth to be admitted to his booke, the Judge 
commonly giveth him a Psalter, and turneth to what 
place he will. The prisoner readeth as well as he 
can (God knoweth sometime very slenderly :) then he 
asketh of the Bishops commissarie, legit ut clericus ? 
The commissarie must say legit or non legit, for these be 
wordes formall, and our men of Lawe be verie precise 
in their words formall. If he say legit y the Judge 
proceedeth no further to sentence of death : if he say 
non, the Judge forthwith, or the next day proceedeth 
to sentence, which is doone by word of mouth onelie:^ 
Thou A. hast beene endicted of such a felonie and 
thereof arraigned, thou hast pleaded not guiltie, and put 
thy selfe upon God and thy Countrie, they have found 
thee guiltie, thou hast nothing to say for thy selfe, the 
Lawe is, thou shalt first returne to the place from 
whence thou earnest, from thence thou shalt goe to the 
place of execution, there thou shalt hang till thou be 
dead. Then he saith to the Sherife, Sherife doe 
execution : he that claimeth his Clergie, is burned 
foorthwith in the presence of the Judges in the brawne 
of his hand with a hot yron marked with the letter 
T. for a theefe, or M. for a mansleer, in cases where 
Clergie is admitted, and is delivered to the Bishops 
officer to be kept in the Bishops prison, from whence 
after a certaine time by an other enquest of Clarkes he 
is delivered and let at large : but if he be taken and 
condemned the second time, and his marke espied, he 
goeth to hanging. He whom the enquest pronounceth 
not guiltie is acquitted foorthwith and discharged of 
prison, paying the gaolers fees : and if he knowe any 
private man who purchased his inditement, and is able 



to pursue it, he may have an action of conspiracie 
against him, and a large amendes : but that case 
chaunceth seldome. 

Certaine orders peculiar to England, 

touching punishment of malefadtors. 
Chap. 24. 

FOr any felonie, manslaughter, robberie, murther, 
rape, and such capitall crimes as touch not treason 
and Icesam maiestatem, we have by the Lawe of Eng- 
land no other punishment, but to hang till they be 
dead : when they be dead, everie man may burie them 
that will, as commonly they be. Heading, tormenting, 
demembring, either arme or legge, breaking upon the 
wheele, empailing, and such cruell torments, as be 
used in other nations by the order of their law, we 
have not : and yet as few murthers committed as any 
where : nor it is not in the Judges or the Justices 
power, to aggravate or mitigate the punishment of the 
Lawe, but in the Prince onely and his privie Counsell, 
which is marvellous seldom done. Yet notable mur- 
therers many times by the Princes commaundement, 
after they be hanged with corde till they bee dead, 
bee hanged with chaines while they rotte in the ayre. 
If the wife kill her husbande, shee shall bee burned 
alive. If the servaunt kill his master, hee shalbee 
drawen on a hurdle to the place of execution : it is 
called petit treason. Impoisoners, if the person die 
thereof, by a new lawe made in King Henrie the 
eights time shalbe boyled to death : but this mischiefe 
is rare and almost unknowen in England. Attempting 


to impoison a man, or laying await to kill a man, 
though he wound him daungerously, yet if death followe 
not, is no felony by the lawe of Englande, for the 
Prince hath lost no man, and life ought to be given we 
say, but for life only. And againe, when a man is 
murdered, all be principals and shall die, even he that 
doth but hold the candel to give light to the murderers. 
For mitigation and moderation of paines, is but corrup- 
tion of Judges, as we thinke. Likewise, torment or 
question which is used by the order of the civill lawe 
and custome of other countreis to put a malefactor to 
excessive paine, to make him confesse of him selfe, or of 
his felowes or complices, is not used in England, it is 
taken for senile. For what can he serve the common 
wealth after as a free man, who hath his bodie so haled 
and tormented, if he be not found guiltie, and what 
amends can be made him ? And if he must die, what 
crueltie is it so to torment him before ? Likewise, 
confession by torment is esteemed for nothing, for if 
he confesse at the judgement, the tryall of the xii goeth 
not upon him : If he denie the fact, that which he 
saide before hindereth him not. The nature of English 
men is to neglect death, to abide no torment : And 
therefore he will confesse rather to have done any 
thing, yea, to have killed his own father, than to suffer 
torment, for death our nation doth not so much esteem 
as a mean torment. In no place shal you see male- 
factors go more constantly, more assuredly, and with 
lesse lamentation to their death than in England. 
Againe, the people not accustomed to see such cruell 
torments, will pitie the person tormented, and abhorre 
the Prince and the Judges, who should bring in such 
crueltie amongst them, and the xij. men the rather 



absolve him. There is an olde lawe of England, 
that if any gaoler shall put any prisoner being in his 
custodie to any torment, to the intent to make him an 
approver, that is to saie an accuser or Index of his com- 
plices, the gaoler shall dye therefore as a felon. And 
to say the trueth, to what purpose is it to use torment ? 
For whether the malefactor confesse or no, and whatso- 
ever he saith, if the enquest of xij. do find him guiltie, he 
dyeth therefore without delaye. And the malefactour, 
seeing there is no remedie, and that they be his countrie 
men, and such as he hath himselfe agreed unto it, do 
finde them worthie death, yeeldes for the most part unto 
it, and doeth not repine, but doth accommodate him 
selfe to aske mercie of God. The nature of our nation 
is free, stout, haulte, prodigall of life and bloud : but 
contumelie, beatings, servitude and servile torment and 
punishment it will not abide. So in this nature and 
fashion, our auncient Princes and legislators have 
nourished them, as to make them stout hearted, coura- 
gious and souldiers, not villaines and slaves, and that 
is the scope almost of all our policie. The xij. as soone 
as they have given their verdict are dismissed to goe 
whither they will, and have no manner commoditie and 
profit of their labour and verdict, but onely do service 
to the Prince and common wealth. 

Of Treason, & the trial which is used 

for the higher nobilitie and Barons. 
Chap. 25. 

THe same order touching trial by enquest of xij 
men is taken in Treason, but the paine is more 
cruell. First to be hanged, taken downe alive, his bowels 


taken out and burned before his face, then to be 
beheaded, and quartered, and those set up in diverse 
places. If anie Duke, Marques, or any other of the 
degree of a Baron, or above, Lord of the Parliament be 
appeached of treason, or any other capitall crime, he is 
judged by his peeres and equals : that is, the yeomanrie 
doth not go upon him, but an enquest of the Lordes of 
the Parliament, and they give their voice, not one for 
all, but eche severally as they do in Parliament, 
beginning at the yongest Lord. And for Judge one 
Lord sitteth, who is Constable of England for that day. 
The judgement once given, he breaketh his staffe and 
abdicateth his office. In the rest there is no difference 
from that above written. 




Of that which in other countries is called 

appellation, or provocation, to amend the judgement 

or sentence definitive, which is thought 

unjustly given in causes criminall. 

Chap. i. 

IF the enquest of xii men do seeme to the Judges 
and the Justices to have gon too violently against 
the evidence given in matters criminall, either it is that 
upon slender evidence they have pronounced him giltie, 
whom the Judges and most part of the Justices thinkes 
by the evidence not fullie prooved guiltie, or for some 
other cause, do thinke the person rather worthie to 
live than to die. The enquest is neverthelesse dismissed : 
but when the Judges should pronounce the sentence 
of death upon the person found guiltie, he will differ it, 
which is called to reprive the prisoner (that is to say to 
sende him againe to prison) and so declare the matter 
to the Prince, and obtaineth after a time for the prisoner 
his pardon : and as for provocation or appeale which is 
used so much in other countries, it hath no place in 
England, after sentence given by the xii, whereby the 


person is founde guiltie or not guiltie : but without that 
repriving the sentence is streight put in execution by 
the sherife. And if they either escape or die an other 
death, the sherife escapeth not to paie a great fine and 
ransom at the Princes mercie : if having pregnant 
evidence neverthelesse the xii doe acquite the male- 
factor, which they will doe sometime, and especially if 
they perceive either one of the Justices, or of the 
Judges, or some other man to pursue too much and too 
malitiously the death of the prisoner, and doe suspect 
some subornation of the witnesse, or them which doe 
give evidence, and sometime if they perceive the Judge 
would have the prisoner escape, and in repeating the 
evidence doe give them thereof some watchworde. But- 
if they doe as I have saide, pronounce not guiltie upon 
the prisoner against whome manifest witnesse is brought 
in, the prisoner escapeth : but the xii not onely be 
rebuked by the Judges, but also threatned of punish- 
ment, and many times commaunded to appeare in the 
starrechamber, or before the privie counsell for the 
matter. But this threatning chaunceth oftener than 
the execution thereof, and the xii answere with most 
gentle wordes, they did it according to their consciences, 
and pray the Judges to be good unto them, they did as 
they thought right, and as they accorded all, and so it 
passeth away for the most part. Yet I have seene in 
my time (but not in the raigne of the Queene nowe) 
that an enquest for pronouncing one not guiltie of 
treason contrarie to such evidence as was brought in, 
were not onely imprisoned for a space, but an houge 
fine set upon their heads, which they were faine to pay : 
An other enquest for acquiting an other, beside paying 
a fine of money, put to open ignominie and shame. 



But those doinges were even then of many accounted 
verie violent, tyrannical, and contrarie to the libertie 
and custome of the. realme of England. Wherefore 
it commeth verie seldome in use, yet so much at a 
time the enquest may be corrupted, that the Prince 
may have cause with justice to punish them : For they 
are men, and subject to corruption and parcialitie, as 
v others be. 

What remedie is, if the sentence be 

thought unjustly given. 

Chap. 2. 

T N causes civill there is an other order : for if after 
JL the matter be pleaded to the issue, and the xij men 
thereupon impaneled, the evidence brought and pleaded 
before them on both the parties, the xij seeme to be 
parciall, and to have given sentence contrarie to the 
evidence shewed unto them : the partie greeved may 
bring against them, and the partie for whome the 
sentence is given, a writ of attaint : and where as 
before upon the first quest commonly they all be 
yeomen, now uppon this attaint must go xxiiij gentle- 
men dwelling within the shire, and xij at the least of 
the hundreth where the lande lyeth. The matter is 
pleaded againe before the same Judges. The partie 
defendant is not onely nowe he, who claimeth the 
lande, but also all and every of the yeomen, who by 
their verdict did give it him. There must in the attaint 
no more evidence be brought in, but onely that which 
was brought in, and alledged before the first enquest. 
And if this seconde enquest of xxiiij gentlemen do 
adjudge as the first did, the plaintife shall not onely 


lose the land, but also paie a fine to the Prince and 
damages to the partie. If this seconde enquest do 
finde that the first enquest hath gone parcially, and 
against the evidence brought in before them, the first 
enquest is called attainted, and accounted as perjured 
and infamed. The Prince had before the waste of all 
their lands and possessions with other punishments, 
which at this present by a lawe made by parliament in 
the time of king Henrie the eight is abolished, and 
nowe by that law or act of parliament, beside other 
punishment, eche of the quest attainted payeth unto 
the Prince and partie v. li. if it be under fourtie 
poundes : and if aboue, then xx. li. Attaints be verie 
seldome put in use, partly because the gentlemen will 
not meete to slaunder and deface the honest yeomen 
their neighbours : so that of a long time, they had 
rather paie a mean fine than to appeare and make the 
enquest. And in the meane time they will intreat so 
much as in them lyeth the parties to come to some 
composition and agreement among them selves, as 
lightly they do, except either the corruption of the 
enquest be too evident, or the one partie is too obstinate 
and headstrong. And if the gentlemen do appeare, 
gladlyer they will confirme the first sentence, for the 
causes which I have saide, than go against it. But if 
the corruption be too much evident, they will not 
sticke to attaint the first enquest : yet after the gentle- 
men have attainted the yeomen, if before the sentence 
be given by the Judge (which ordinarily for a time is 
differred) the parties be agreed, or one of them be dead, 
the attaint ceaseth. ' 

If at anie time before the sentence be given or put 
fa) execution, there be found some such errour in the 



writ, in the proces, or forme (as our lawyers be verie 
precise and curious of their formes) that it may be 
revocable, it is brought afresh to the disputation by a 
writ of errour, and all that is doone reversed. But that 
is common to all other countries, where the civill law 
is used, which they call de nullitate processus, and serveth 
both in Englande and in other places aswell in causes 
criminall, as civill. Other kinde of appellation to 
revoke processes, and to make them of short, long, of 
long, infinite, which is used by the civill lawe, we have 
not in our common lawe of Englande. By supplication 
to the Prince and complaint to the Chauncellor upon 
supposall of losse or lacke of evidence, or too much 
favour in the countrey, and power of the adversarie, 
there is in our countrey as well as theirs both stopping 
and prolongation of Justice. For what will not busie 
heades and lovers of trouble never being satisfied invent 
in any countrey to have their desire, which is to vex 
their neighbours, and to live alwaies in disquiet ? Men 
even permitted of God like flies, and lise, and other 
vermine to disquiet them, who would imploie them- 
selves upon better businesse and more necessarie for 
the common wealth : these men are hated, and feared 
of their neighbours, loved and aided of them which 
gaine by proces, and waxe fatte by the expence and 
trouble of other. But as these men ordinarily spende 
their owne thrift, and make others against their wils to 
spende theirs : so sometime being throughly knowen, 
they do not onely live by the losse like evill husbandes, 
but beside rebuke and shame, by the equitie of the 
Prince and courtes soveraigne, they come to be extra- 
ordinarily punished, both corporally, and by their purse, 
which thing in my minde is as royall and princely an 


act, and so beneficiall to the commonwealth, as in so 
small a matter a King or a Queene can doe, for the 
repose and good education of their subiectes. 

Of that which in England is called ap- 
peale, in other places accusation. 

Chap. 3. 

IF any man hath killed my father, my sonne, my 
wife, my brother, or next kinsman, I have choice 
to cause him to be endicted, by giving information to 
the enquest of enquirie, (although he chaunce to escape 
the Constable or Justices handes, and therefore not to 
be apprehended) and thereupon to procure him to be 
outlawed, or else within a yeere and a day I may enter 
my appeale, that is mine accusation against him. If 1 1 
begun first to pursue him by information or denuncia- 
tion to enditement, I am nowe no partie but the 
Prince, who for his duetie to God and his common 
wealth and subjects, must see justice executed against 
all malefactors and offenders against the peace, which is 
called Gods and his, and doeth in such maner as I have 
saide before. If I leave that and will appeale, which is 
profer my accusation against him who hath doone to 
me this injurie, the defendant hath this advauntage to 
put himselfe to the Jurie, which is to that which before 
is saide to have that issue and triall by God and his 
countrie, whereof the fashion I have at large declared : 
or to demaunde the triall by battle, wherein both the 
parties must eyther themselves in person, or else finde 
other for them, who be called in our Law Champions 

h 113 


or Campions, some doeth interprete them d&krjTa^ 
because they be men chosen, fat, lustie, fit to the feate, 
or as the Frenche doe terme them adroifls aux armes, 
which shall fight it out by fj,ovofj,a%la y or as now they 
doe call it duellum, or the campe, which shall have 
all things equall : but according as Mars giveth the 
victorie, so the Lawe is judged the one as peraSlus reus, 
the other is calumniator to suffer the paine of death. 
So that by the great assise there is no appellation but 
death or life to the defendant, but this is more 
daungerous and equall, for the one or the other must 
die. So it is not in the grande assise, for the reus or 
defendaunt is onely in daunger of death. Short it is 
from day to sunne set, the quarell is ended, or sooner 
who hath the better fortune. This seemeth very 
militarie (as in maner all our policie of Englande) and 
to have as small to doe with Lawyers as with Phisi- 
tions, quicklie to dispatche, and for the rest to returne, 
eche man to his businesse, to serve the common wealth 
in his vocation. The Popes of Rome, and men of the 
Church who of long time have had dominion in our 
consciences, and would bring things to a more modera- 
tion, have much detested this kinde of triall and judge- 
ment, as reason is everie man misliketh that which 
is not like to his education, and colde reasoning by 
Theologie and Philosophic : they I say much mislike 
many things doone necessarily in whot policie. At the 
least a common wealth militarie must adventure many 
things to keepe it in quiet, which cannot seeme so 
precisely good to them which dispute thereof in the 
shadowe and in their studies : Howsoever it be, this 
kinde of triall of long time hath not beene used. So 
that at this time we may rather seeke the experience of 


it out of our histories of time passed, than of any viewe 
or sight thereof, of them which are nowe alive. Never- 
thelesse the Lawe remaineth still, and is not abolished, 
and if it shall chaunce the murtherer or mansleer (the 
one we call him that lyeth in waite, and as they terme 
it in Frenche de guet appendaunt killeth the man, the 
other who by casuall falling out and sodaine debate 
and choller doeth the same which way soever it be 
doone) if he that hath slaine the man, hath his pardon 
of the prince, as occasion or the favour of the Prince 
may so present, that he may have it, yet the partie 
grieved hath these two remedies, I say to require justice 
by grand assise, or battle upon his appeale and private 
revenge, which is not denyed him. And if the de- 
fendant either by great assise or by battle be convinced 
upon that appeale, he shall die, notwithstanding the 
Princes pardon. So much favourable our Princes be, 
and the lawe of our Realme to justice and to the 
punishment of blood violently shed. 

Of the Court of Starre Chamber. 
Chap. 4. 

THere is yet in Englande an other court, of the 
which that I can understand there is not the like 
in any other Countrie. In the Terme time (the Terme 
time as I have heretofore shewed, I call the time and 
those daies when the Lawe is exercised in Westminster 
hall, which as I have said is but at certaine times 
and termes) every weeke once at the least, (which is 
commonly on Fridaies, and Wednesdaies, and the 

H 2 115 


next day after that the terme doeth ende,) the Lorde 
Chauncellor, and the Lordes and other of the privie 
Counsell, so many as will, and other Lordes and Barons 
which be not of the Privie Counsell, and be in the 
towne, and the Judges of England, specially the two 
chiefe Judges, from ix. of the clocke till it be xj. doe 
sit in a place which is called the starre chamber, either 
because it is full of windowes, or because at the first all 
the roofe thereof was decked with images of starres 
. gilted. There is plaints heard of riots.^ Riot is called 
in our English terme or speache, where any number is 
assembled with force to doe any thing : and it had the 
beginning, because that our being much accustomed 
either in foreine wars, in Fraunce, Scotland, or Ireland, 
or being overmuch exercised with civill warres within 
the Realme (which is the fault that falleth ordinarily 
amongest bellicous nations) whereby men of warre, 
Captaines and souldiers become plentifull : which when 
they have no externe service wherewith to occupie their 
buisie heads and handes accustomed to fight and quarell, 
must needes seeke quarels and contentions amongest 
themselves, and become so readie to oppresse right 
among their neighbours, as they were woont before 
with praise of manhoode, to be in resisting iniurie 
offered by their enemies. So that our nation used 
hereunto, and upon that more insolent at home, and 
not easie to be governed by Lawe and politike order, 
men of power beginning many fraies, and the stronger 
by factions and parties offering too much injurie to the 
weaker, were occasions of making good Lawes. First 
of reteiners, that no man should have above a number 
in his Liverie or retinue : then of the enquirie of routs 
and riots at everie Sessions, and of the lawe whereby it 


is provided that if any by force or by riot enter upon 
any possessions, the Justices of the peace shal assemble 
themselves and remoove the force, and within certain 
time enquire thereof. And further, because such things 
are not commonlie done by meane men, but such as be 
of power and force, and be not to be dealt withal of 
everie man, nor of meane Gentlemen : if the riot be 
found and certified to the Kings Counsell, or if other- 
wise it be complained of, the partie is sent for, and he 
must appeare in this starre chamber, where seeing 
(except the presence of the Prince onely) as it were the 
maiestie of the whole Realme before him, being never 
so stoute, he will be abashed : and being called to 
aunswere (as he must come of what degree soever he 
be) he shall be so charged with such gravitie, with such 
reason and remonstrance, and of those chiefe personages 
of Englande, one after an other handeling him on that 
sort, that what courage soever he hath, his heart will 
fall to the grounde, and so much the more, when if he 
make not his aunswere the better, as seldome he can so 
in open violence, he shalbe commaunded to the Fleete, 
where he shall be kept in prison in such sort as these 
Judges shall appoint him, lie there till he be wearie 
aswell of the restraint of his libertie, as of the great 
expences, which he must there sustaine, and for a time 
be forgotten, whiles after long suite of his friendes, he 
will be glad to be ordered by reason. Sometime as his 
deserts be, he payeth a great fine to the Prince, besides 
great costs and dammages to the partie, and yet the 
matter wherefore he attempteth this riot and violence 
is remitted to the common lawe. For that is the effect 
of this Court to bridle such stoute noble men, or Gentle- 
men which would offer wrong by force to any manner 



men, and cannot be content to demaund or defend 
the right by order of lawe. ,y This court began long 
before, but tooke great augmentation and authoritie at 
that time that Cardinall Wohey Archbishop of Yorke 
was Chauncellor of Englande, who of some was 
thought to have first devised the Court, because that 
he after some intermission by negligence of time, 
augmented the authoritie of it, which was at that time 
marvellous necessary to doe, to represse the insolencie 
of the noble men and gentlemen of the North partes 
of Englande, who being farre from the King and the 
seate of iustice made almost as it were an ordinarie 
warre among themselves, and made their force their 
Lawe, banding themselves with their tenaunts and 
servaunts to doe or revenge injurie one against another 
as they listed. This thing seemed not supportable to 
the noble prince King Henrie the eight: and sending 
for them one after another to his Court to aunswere 
before the persons before named, after they had had 
remonstrance shewed them of their evill demeanor, 
and beene well disciplined as well by words as by 
fleeting a while, and thereby their purse and courage 
somwhat asswaged, they began to range themselves in 
order, and to understand that they had a Prince who 
would rule his subjects by his lawes and obedience. 
Sith that time this court hath beene in more estimation, 
and is continued to this day in manner as I have saide 



Of the Courts of Wards and Liveries. 
Chap. 5. 

E whom we call a ward in Englande, is called 


in Latine pupillus, and in Greeke op<f>avo<;. 
The gardian is called in Latine tutor, in Greek e7Ti- 
T/307T09. A warde or infant is taken for a childe in 
base age, whose father is dead. The Romanes made 
two distinctions pupillum & minor em, the one to xiiij. 
yere old, the other was accounted from thence to xxv. 
And as pupillus had tutorem, so minor had curatorem 
til he came to the age of xxv. These tutors or* 
curators were accountable for the revenues of the 
pupils minors lands, and great provision and many 
lawes and orders is made for them in the bookes of 
the civil Lawe, for rendering just and true accounts. 
So that to be a gardian or tutor was accounted among 
them to be a charge or trouble, a thing subject to 
much encumbraunce and small profite, so that diverse 
meanes were sought for, to excuse men from it. With 
us this is cleane contrarie, for it is reckoned a profite 
to have a warde. For the Lorde of whom the warde 
doeth hold the lande, so soone as by the death of the 
father the childe falleth warde unto him, he seaseth 
upon the body of the wacd and his, landes, of which 
(so that he doeth nourish the warde,) he taketh the 
profite without accounts, and beside that offering to 
his warde covenable mariage without dispergement 
before the age of xxj. yeres if it be a man, of xiiij. if 
it be a woman. If the ward refuse to take that 
mariage, he or she must pay the value of the mariage, 
which is commonly rated according to the profite of 



his landes. All this while I speake of that which is 
called in French garde noble, that is of such as holde 
lands of other, by knight service, for that is an other 
kinde of service which we call in French gard returier, 
we call it gard in socage, that is of such as doe not 
holde by knight service, but by tenure of the plough. 
This wardship falleth to him who is next of the kinne, 
and cannot inherite the land of the warde as the uncle 
by the mothers side, if the land doe discend by the 
father, and of the fathers side, if the lande discend 
by the mother. This gardian is accountable for the 
revenues and profites of the lande, as the tutor by the 
civill Lawe to the warde or pupill so soone as he is 

^of full age. 

The man is not out of wardshippe by our lawe 
till xxj. yere olde, from thence he is reckoned of full 
age, aswell as in the Romane lawes at xxv. The 
woman at xiiij. is out of warde, for she may have an 
husband able to doe knightes service say our bookes. 
And because our wives be in the power (as I shall 
tell you hereafter) of their husbands, it is no reason, 
she should be in two diverse gards. 

fS Many men doe esteeme this wardship by knightes 
service verie unreasonable and unjust, and contrarie 
to nature, that a Freeman and Gentleman should be 
bought and solde like an horse or an oxe, and so change 
gardians as masters and lordes : at whose governement 
not onely his bodie but his landes and his houses should 
be, to be wasted and spent without accounts, and 
then to marie at the will of him, who is his naturall 
Lorde, or his will who hath bought him, to such as 
he like not peradventure, or else to pay so great a 
ransome. This is the occasion they say, why many 
1 20 


gentlemen be so evil brought up touching vertue and 
learning, and but onely in deintinesse and pleasure : 
and why they be maried very young and before they 
bee wise, and many times do not greatly love their 
wives. For when the father is dead, who hath the 
natural care of his childe, not the mother, nor the 
unclde, nor the next of kinne, who by all reason would 
have most naturall care to the bringing up of the 
infant and minor, but the Lorde of whom he holdeth 
his land in knights service, be it the King or Queene, 
Duke, Marquesse, or any other, hath the governement 
of his bodie and mariage, or else who that bought him 
at the first, second or thirde hande. The Prince as 
having so many, must needes give or sell his wardes 
away to other, and so he doeth. Other doe but seeke 
which way they may make most advauntage of him, 
as of an oxe or other beast. These all (say they,) 
have no naturall care of the infant, but of their owne 
gaine, and especially the buyer will not suffer his warde 
to take any great paines, either in studie, or any other 
hardenesse, least he should be sicke and die, before he 
hath maried his daughter, sister or cousin, for whose 
sake he bought him : and then all his money which 
he paide for him should be lost. So he, who had a 
father, which kept a good house, and had all things 
in order to maintaine it, shall come to his owne, after 
he is out of wardshippe, woods decayed, houses fallen 
downe, stocke wasted and gone, land let foorth and 
plowed to the baren, and to make amends, shall pay 
yet one yeres rent for reliefe and sue ouster le maind, 
beside other charges, so that not of manie yeres and 
peradventure never he shall be able to recover, and 
come to the estate where his father left it. This as 



it is thought was first graunted upon a great extremitie 
to King Henrie the 3. for a time upon the warre 
which he had with his Barons, and afterward in- 
creased, and multiplied to more and more persons and 
grievances, and will be the decay of the nobilitie and 
libertie of England. Other againe say, the warde hath 
no wrong. For eyther his father purchased the lande, 
or it did discend unto him from his auncesters with this 
charge. And because he holdeth by knightes service, 
which is in armes and defence, seeing that by age he 
cannot doe that whereto hee is bound by his lande, 
it is reason he aunswere that profite to the Lorde, 
whereby he may have as able a man to doe the service. 
The first knights in Rome, those that were chosen 
equites Romania had equum publicum on which they 
served, and that was at the charge of widowes and 
wards, as appeareth by Titus Livius, because that 
those persons could not doe bodilie service to the 
common wealth. Wherfore this is no newe thing, 
but thought reasonable in that most wise common 
wealth, and to the prudent King Servius Tullius. As 
for the education of our common wealth, it was at 
the first militaire, and almost in all things the scope 
and deseigne thereof is militaire. Yet was it thought 
most like, that noble men, good knights, and great 
captaines would bring up their wards in their owne 
feates and vertues, and then mary them into like rase 
and stocke where they may finde and make friendes, 
who can better looke to the education or better skill 
of the bringing up of a gentleman, than he who for 
his higher nobilitie hath such a one to holde of him 
by knights service, or would doe it better than he that 
looketh or may claime such service of his ward, when 


age and yeres will make him able to doe it. That 
which is saide that this manner of wardship began in 
the time of King Henrie the 3. cannot seeme true. 
For in Normandie and other places of Fraunce the 
same order is. 

And that statute made in King Henrie the thirds 
time touching wards, to him that will wey it wel, may 
seeme rather a qualification of that matter, and an 
argument that the fashion of wardship was long before : 
but of this matter an other time shall be more con- 
venient to dispute. This may suffice to declare the 
maner of it. 

Of wives and manages. 
Chap. 6. 

THe wives in Englande be as I saide in potestate 
maritorum, not that the husbande hath vita ac 
necis potestatem, as the Romans had in the olde time of 
their children, for that is onely in the power of the 
Prince, and his lawes, as I have saide before, but that 
whatsoever they have before mariage, as soone as 
mariage is solemnished is their husbandes, I meane of 
money, plate, juelles, cattaile, and generally all move- 
ables. For as for lande and heritage followeth the 
succession, and is ordered by the Lawe as I shall say 
heereafter : and what soever they gette after mariage, 
they get to their husbands. They neither can give nor 
sell anie thing either of their husbandes, or their owne. 
Theirs no moveable thing is by the law of England 
constanti matrimonii), but as peculium servi aut filij fami- 
lias : and yet in moveables at the death of her husbande 



she can claime nothing, but according as hee shall will 
by his Testament, no more than his sonne can : all 
the rest is in the disposition of the executors if he die 
testate. Yet in London and other great cities they 
have that lawe and custome, that when a man dieth, 
his goods be divided into three partes. One thirde 
is imployed uppon the buriall and the bequestes which 
the testator maketh in his testament. An other thirde 
part the wife hath as her right, and the thirde third 
part is the dewe and right of his children, equally to 
be divided among them. So that a man there can 
make testament but of one thirde of his goods: if 
he die intestate, the funerals deducted the goods be 
equally divided betweene the wife and the children. 

By the common lawe of Englande if a man die 
intestate, the Ordinarie (which is the Bishoppe by 
common intendment) sometime the Archdeacon, Dean, 
or Prebendarie by priviledge and prescription, doeth 
commit the administration of the goods to the widowe 
or the child, or next kinsman of the dead, appointing 
out portions to such as naturally it belongeth unto, 
and the Ordinarie by common understanding hath such 
gravitie and discretion as shalbe meete for so absolute 
an authoritie, for the most part following such division 
as is used in London, either by thirdes or halfes. Our 
forefathers newely converted to the Christian faith had 
such confidence in their pastors and instructours and 
tooke them to be men of such conscience that they 
committed that matter to their discretion, and belike 
at the first they were such as would seeke no private 
profit to themselves thereby, that being once so or- 
deined hath still so continued. The abuse which hath 
followed was in part redressed by certaine actes of 


parliament made in the time of King Henrie the eight, 
touching the probate of testamentes committing of 
administration and mortuaries. But to turne to the 
matter which we nowe have in hande, the wife is so 
much in the power of her husband, that not onely her 
goods by marriage are streight made her husbandes, and 
she looseth all her administration which she had of 
them : but also where all English men have name and 
surname, as the Romans had, Marcus Tullius, Caius 
Pompeius, Caius Iulius y whereof the name is given to us 
at the font, the surname is the name of the gentilitie 
and stocke which the sonne doth take of the father 
alwaies, as the olde Romans did, our daughters so 
soone as they be maried loose the surname of their 
father, and of the family and stocke whereof they doe 
come, and take the surname of their husbands, as 
transplanted from their family into another. So that 
if my wife was called before Philippe Wilford by her 
owne name and her fathers surname, so soone as she 
is maried to me she is no more called Philippe JVylford y 
but Philippe Smith, and so must she write and signe : 
and as she changeth husbandes, so she chaungeth 
surnames, called alwaies by the surname of her last 
husbande. Yet if a woman once marrie a Lorde or 
a Knight, by which occasion she is called my Ladie 
with the surname of her husbande, if he die and she 
take a husbande of a meaner estate by whom she shall 
not be called Ladie (such is the honour we doe give 
to women) she shall still be called Ladie with the 
surname of her first husbande and not of the seconde. 

I thinke among the olde Romans those marriages^ 
which were made per coemptionem in manum, and per ees 
and libram made the wife in manu & pot est ate viri, 



wherof also we had in our olde lawe and ceremonies 
of mariage, a certaine memorie as a viewe and vestigium. 
For the woman at the Church dore was given of the 
father or some other man next of her kinne into the 
handes of the husbande, and he layde downe golde and 
silver for her upon the booke, as though he did buy 
her, the priest belike was in steede of Lipripeus'. our 
mariages be esteemed perfect by the law of England, 
when they be solemnished in the Church or Chappell, 
in the presence of the priest and other witnesses. And 
this only maketh both the husbande and the wife 
capable of all the benefites which our lawe doth give 
unto them and their lawefull children. In so much 
that if I marie the widowe of one lately dead, which 
at the time of her husbandes death was with childe, 
if the childe be borne after mariage solemnished with 
me, this childe shalbe my heire, and is accounted my 
lawefull sonne, not his whose childe it is in deede, so 
precisely wee doe take the letter where it is saide, pater 
est quern nuptice demonstrant. Those waies and meanes 
which Justinian doth declare to make bastardes to be 
lawefull children, muliers or rather melieurs (for such 
a terme our lawe useth for them which be lawefull 
children) be of no effect in England, neither the Pope 
nor Emperour, nor the Prince himselfe never could 
there legittimate a bastarde to enjoy any benefitte of 
our lawe, the Parliament hath onely that power. 

Although the wife be (as I have written before) in 
manu & potestate mariti, by our lawe yet they be not 
kept so streit as in mew and with a garde as they be 
in Italy and Spaine, but have almost as much libertie 
as in Fraunce, and they have for the most part all the 
charge of the house and houshoulde (as it may appeare 


by Aristotle and Plato the wives of the Greekes had in 
their time) which is in deede the naturall occupation, 
exercise, office and part of a wife. The husband to 
meddle with the defence either by lawe or force, and 
with all foren matters which is the naturall part and 
office of the man, as I have written before. And 
although our lawe may seeme somewhat rigorous 
toward the wives, yet for the most part they can 
handle their husbandes so well and so doulcely, and 
specially when their husbands be sicke : that where 
the lawe giveth them nothing, their husbandes at 
their death of their good will give them all. And 
fewe there be that be not made at the death of their 
husbandes either sole or chiefe executrixes of his last 
wil and testament, and have for the most part the 
governement of the children and their portions : ex- 
cept it be in London, where a peculiar order is 
taken by the citie much after the fashion of the civill 

All this while I have spoken onely of moveable ^ 
goods: if the wife be an enheretrix and bring lande 
with her to the mariage, that lande descendeth to her 
eldest sonne, or is divided among her daughters. Also 
the manner is, that the lande which the wife bringeth 
to the mariage or purchaseth afterwardes, the husbande 
can not sell nor alienate the same, no not with her 
consent, nor she her selfe during the mariage, except 
that she be sole examined by a Judge at the common 
lawe : and if he have no childe by her and she die, the 
lande goeth to her next heires at the common lawe : 
but if in the mariage he have a child by her, which 
is heard once to crie, whether the childe live or die, 
the husbande shall have the usufruite of her landes, 



(that is the profitte of them during his life) and that 
^ is called the courtisie of Englande. 

Likewise if the husbande have any lande either by 
inheritance descended or purchased and bought, if hee 
die before the wife, she shall have the usufruite of one 
thirde part of his landes. That is, she shall holde the 
one thirde part of his landes during her life as her 
dowrie, whether he hath child by her or no. If he 
hath any children, the rest descendeth streight to the 
eldest : if he hath none, to the next heire at the 
common lawe : and if she mislike the division, she 
shal aske to be indowed of the fairest of his landes 
to the thirde part. 

This which I have written touching mariage and 
the right in moveables and unmoveables which com- 
meth thereby, is to be understoode by the common 
law when no private contract is more particularly 
made. If there be any private pacts, covenants, and 
contracts made before the mariage betwixt the hus- 
bande and the wife, by themselves, by their parents, 
or their friends, those have force and be kept according 
to the firmitie and strength in which they are made, 
And this is ynough of wives and mariage. 

Of Children. 

Chap. 7. 

OUr children be not in potestate parentum, as the 
children of the Romans were : but as soone as 
they be puberes, which we call the age of discretion, 
before that time nature doth tell they be but as it were 
partes parentum. That which is theirs they may give 
or sell, and purchase to themselves either lands and 


other moveables the father having nothing to doe 
therewith. And therefore emancipatio is cleane super- 
fluous, we knowe not what it is. Likewise sui k&redes, 
complaints de inofficioso testamento or prateritorum liber- 
orum non emancipatorum have no effect nor use in our 
lawe, nor wee have no manner to make lawefull children 
but by mariage, and therefore we knowe not what is 
adoptio nor arrogatio. The testator disposeth in his 
last will his moveable goods freely as he thinketh 
meete and convenient without controlement of wife 
or children. And our testamentes for goods moveable 
be not subject to the ceremonies of the civill lawe, 
but made with all libertie and freedome, and iure 
militari. Of landes as ye have understoode before, 
there is difference : for when the owner dieth, his 
lande discendeth onely to his eldest sonne, all the rest 
both sonnes and daughters have nothing by the com- 
mon lawe, but must serve their eldest brother if they 
will, or make what other shift they can to live : except 
that the father in life time doe make some conveiance 
and estates of part of his land, to their use, or els by 
devise, which word amongest our lawiers doth betoken 
a testament written, sealed and delivered in the life 
time of the testator before witnesse : for without those 
ceremonies a bequest of landes is not available. But 
by the common lawe if hee that dieth hath no sonnes 
but daughters, the lande is equally divided among them, 
which portion is made by agreement or by lotte. 
Although as I have saide ordinarily and by the com- 
mon lawe, the eldest sonne inheriteth all the lands, 
yet in some countries all the sonnes have equall 
portion, and that is called ganelkinde, and is in many 
places in Kent. In some places the youngest is sole 

1 129 


heire : and in some places after an other fashion. But 
these being but particular customes of certaine places 
and out of the rule of the common law, doe litle 
appertain to the disputation of the policie of the whole 
Realme, and may be infinite. The common wealth is 
judged by that which is most ordinarily and commonly 
doone through the whole Realme. 

Of Bondage and Bondmen. 

Chap. 8. 

AFter that we have spoken of all the sortes of free 
•aV men according to the diversitie of their estates 
and persons, it resteth to say somewhat of bondmen 
which were called servi, which kinde of people and 
the disposition of them and about them doth occupie 
the most part of Justinians Digestes, and Code. The 
/"'Romans had two kindes of bondmen, the one which 
were called servi, and they were either which were 
bought for money, taken in warre, left by succession, 
or purchased by other kinde and lawefull acquisition, 
or else borne of their bonde women and called verna : 
all those kinde of bondmen be called in our lawe 
villens in grosse, as ye would say immediatly bonde 
to the person and his heires. An other they had as 
appeareth in Justinians time, which they called ad- 
scripticij glebce or agri censiti. These were not bond 
to the person, but to the mannor or place, and did 
followe him who had the manors, and in our lawe 
are called villaines regardants, for because they be as 
members, or belonging to the manor or place. Neither 
of the one sort nor of the other have we any number 


in England. And of the first I never knewe any in 
the realme in my time : of the seconde so fewe there 
be, that it is not almost worth the speaking. But 
our lawe doth acknowledge them in both those sortes. 
Manumission of all kinde of villaines or bondmen in 
Englande is used and done after diverse sortes, and 
by other and more light and easie meanes than is 
prescribed in the civil lawe, and being once manu- 
mitted, he is not libertus manumittentis, but simply 
liber : howbeit sith our Realme hath received the 
Christian religion which maketh us all in Christ 
brethren, and in respect of God and Christ conserves, 
men began to have conscience to hold in captivitie 
and such extreme bondage him whome they must 
acknowledge to be his brother, and as we use to terme 
him Christian, that is who looketh in Christ and by 
Christ to have equall portion with them in the Gospel 
and salvation. Upon this scruple, in continuance of 
time, and by long successionythe holie fathers, Munkes 
and Friers in their confession, and specially in their 
extreme and deadly sicknesses, burdened the con- 
sciences of them whom they had under their handes : 
so that temporall men by little and litle by reason of 
that terror in their conscience, were glad to manumit 
all their villaines : but the said holie fathers, with the 
Abbots and Priors, did not in like sort by theirs, for 
they had also conscience to impoverish and dispoyle 
the Churches so much as to manumit such as were 
bond to their Churches, or to the mannors which the 
Church had gotten, and so kept theirs still. The same 
did the Bishoppes also till at the last and now of late 
some Bishoppes to make a peece of money manumitted 
theirs partly for argent, partly for slaunders, that they 
1 2 131 



seemed more cruell than the temporaltie: after the 
monasteries comming into temporall mens handes have 
\beene occasion that now they be almost all manumitted. 
The most part of bondmen when they were, yet were 
not used with us so cruelly nor in that sort as the 
bondmen at the Romane civill law, as appeareth by 
their Comedies, nor as in Greece as appeareth by 
theirs: but they were suffered to enjoy coppieholde 
lande to gaine and get as other serves that nowe 
and then their Lordes might fleese them and take a 
peece of money of them, as in France the Lords 
doe taile them whom they call their subjectes at their 
pleasure, and cause them to pay such summes of money 
as they list to put upon them. I thinke both in 
France and England the chaunge of religion to a 
more gentle, humane and more equall sort (as the 
christian religion is in respectes of the Gentiles) caused 
this olde kinde of servile servitude and slaverie to be 
brought into that moderation, for necessitie first to 
villaines regardants, and after to servitude of landes 
and tenures, and by litle and litle finding out more 
civill and gentle meanes and more equall to have 
that doone which in time of heathenesse servitude or 
bondage did, they almost extinguished the whole. For 
although all persons christians be brethren by baptisme 
in Jesu Christ, and therefore may appeare equally 
free : yet some were and still might be christianed 
being bond and serve, and whom as the baptisme did 
find so it did leave them, for it chaungeth not civill 
lawes nor compactes amongest men which be not 
contrarie to Gods lawes, but rather maintaineth them 
by obedience. Which seeing men of good conscience 
having that scruple whereof I wrote before, have by 


litle and litle found meanes to have and obtaine the 
profit of servitude and bondage which gentilitie did 
use and is used to this day amongest Christians on 
the one part, and Turkes and Gentiles on the other 
part, when warre is betwixt them upon those whom 
they take in battaile. Turkes and Gentilles I call 
them, which using not our lawe the one beleeveth 
in one God, the other in many gods, of whom they 
make Images. For the lawe of Jewes is well ynough 
knowen, and at this day so farre as I can learne, 
amongst all people Jewes be holden as it were in a 
common servitude, and have no rule nor dominion as 
their own prophesies doe tell that they should not have, 
after that Christ was promised to them, was of them 
refused for when they would not acknowledge him 
obstinatly forsaking their helpe in soule for the life to 
come and honour in this worlde for the time present, 
not taking the good tidinges, newes, and evangill brought 
to them for their disobedience by the great grace of 
God, and by the promise of the Prophets fructified in 
us which be Gentils and brought forth this humanitie, 
gentlenes, honour and godly knowledge which is seen 
at this present. But to returne to the purpose. 

This perswasion I say of Christians not to make 
nor keepe his brother in Christ, servile, bond and 
underling for ever unto him, as a beast rather than as 
a man, and the humanitie which the Christian religion 
doth teache, hath engendered through Realmes not 
neere to Turkes and Barbarians, a doubt, a conscience 
and scruple to have servants and bondmen : yet neces- 
sitie on both sides, of the one to have helpe, on the 
other to have service, hath kept a figure or fashion 
thereof. So that some would not have bondmen, but 



adscripticij gleba, and villaines regardant to the ground, 
to the intent their service might be furnished, and that 
the countrie being evill, unwholsome, and otherwise 
barren, should not be desolate. Others afterwardes 
found out the wayes and meanes, that not the men 
but the land should be bound and bring with it such 
bondage and service to him that occupieth it, as to 
carie the Lordes dung unto the fleldes, to plough his 
ground at certaine daies, sowe, reape, come to his 
Court, sweare faith unto him, and in the ende to holde 
the lande but by copie of the Lords court rolle, and at 
the will of the Lord. This tenure is called also in our 
lawe, villaine, bonde, or servile tenure : yet to consider 
more deepely all lande, even that which is called most 
free lande, hath a bondage annexed unto it, not as 
naturally the lower ground must suffer and receive the 
water and filth which falleth from the higher ground, 
nor such as Justinian speaketh of de servitudinibus 
prtediorum rusticorum iff urbanorum, but the lande doeth 
bring a certaine kinde of servitude to the possessor. 
For no man holdeth land simply free in Englande, but 
he or she that holdeth the Crowne of Englande : all 
others holde their land in fee, that is upon a faith or 
trust, and some service to be doone to another Lorde 
of a Mannor, as his superior, and he againe of an 
higher Lorde, till it come to the Prince and him that 
holdeth the Crowne. So that if a man die, and it 
be found that he hath land which he holdeth, but 
of whom no man can tell, this is understoode to be 
holden of the Crowne, and in capitie, which is much 
like to knights service, and draweth unto it three 
services, homage, ward and mariage : That is, he shall 
sweare to be his man, and to be true unto him of 

J 34 


whom he holdeth the lande. His sonne who holdeth 
the land after the death of his father, shall be maried 
where it pleaseth the Lorde. He that holdeth the 
lande most freely of a temporall man (for franke 
almose and franke manage hath an other cause and 
nature) holdeth by fealtie onely, which is, he shal 
sweare to be true to the Lorde, and doe such service 
as appertaineth for the land which he holdeth of the 
Lord. So that all free lande in Englande is holden in 
fee or feodo, which is asmuch to say as in fide or fiducia : 
That is, in trust and confidence, that he shall be true 
to the Lorde of whom he holdeth it, pay such rents, 
doe such service, and observe such conditions as was 
annexed to the first donation. Thus all saving the 
Prince be not viri domini, but rather fiduciary domini, 
and possessores : This is a more likely interpretation than 
that which Litleton doeth put in his booke, who saith 
that feodum idem est quod heereditas, which it doeth 
betoken in no language. This hapneth many times 
to them who be of great witte and learning, yet not 
seene in many tongues, or marketh not the deduction 
of wordes which time doth alter. Fides in Latine 
the Gothes comming into Italie, and corrupting the 
language, was turned first into fede, and at this day in 
Italie they wil say in fide, en fede or ala fe. And 
some uncunning Lawyers that would make a newe 
barbarous latine worde to betoken lande given in fidem, 
or as the Italian saith in fede, or fe, made it in feudum 
or feodum. The nature of the worde appeareth more 
evident in those which we call to fef, feoff" or feoffees, 
the one be fiduciary possessores, or fidei commissarij, the 
other is, dare in fiduciam, or fidei commissum, or more 
latinely, fidei committere. The same Litleton was as 



much deceived in withernam, and diverse other olde 
wordes. This withernam he interpreteth vetitum 
navium, in what language I knowe not : whereas in 
trueth it is in plaine Dutche and in our olde Saxon 
language, wytber nempt^ alterum accipere, iterum rapere, 
a worde that betokeneth that which in barbarous 
Latine is called represalia, when one taking of me a 
distresse, which in Latine is called pignus, or any other 
thing, and carying it away out of the jurisdiction 
wherein I dwell, I take by order of him that hath 
jurisdiction, an other of him againe or of some other 
of that jurisdiction, and doe bring it into the juris- 
diction wherein I dwell, that by equal wrong I may 
come to have equall right. The manner of represalia, 
and that we call withernam, is not altogether one: 
But the nature of them both is as I have described, 
and the proper signification of the words doe not much 
differ. But to returne thither where we did digresse: 
ye see that where the persons be free, and the bodies 
at full libertie and maxime ingenui y yet by annexing a 
condition to the lande, there is meanes to bring the 
owners and possessors thereof into a certaine servitude 
or rather libertinitie : That the tenaunts beside paying 
the rent accustomed, shal owe to the Lord a certaine 
faith, duetie, trust, obedience, and (as we terme it) 
certaine service as libertus, or diem patrono : which 
because it doeth not consist in the persons, for the 
respect in them doeth not make them bond, but in 
the lande and occupation thereof, it is more properly 
expressed in calling the one tenaunt, the other Lord 
of the fee, than either libertus or diem can doe the one, 
or patronus the other : for these wordes touche rather 
the persons, and the office and duetie betweene them, 


than the possessions. But in our case leaving the 
possession and lande, all the obligation of servitude 
and service is gone. 

An other kinde of servitude or bondage is used in 
Englande for the necessitie thereof, which is called 
apprenticehoode. But this is onely by covenaunt, and 
for a time, and during the time it is vera servitus. For 
whatsoever the apprentice getteth of his owne labour, 
or of his masters occupation or stocke, he getteth to 
him whose apprentice he is, he must not lie foorth of 
his masters doores, he must not occupie any stocke of 
his owne, nor mary without his masters licence, and 
he must doe all servile offices about the house, and be 
obedient to all his masters commaundementes, and 
shall suffer such correction as his master shall thinke 
meete, and is at his masters cloathing and nourishing, 
his master being bounde onely to this which I have 
saide, and to teach him his occupation, and for that 
he serveth, some for vij. or viij. yeres, some ix. or x. 
yeres, as the masters and the friends of the young 
man shall thinke meete or can agree : altogether (as 
Polidore hath noted) quasi pro emptitio servo : neverthe- 
lesse that neither was the cause of the name apprentice, 
neither yet doeth the worde betoken that which Polydore 
supposeth, but it is a Frenche worde, and betokeneth a 
learner or scholer. Apprendre in French is to learne, 
and apprentise is as much to say in Frenche (of which 
tongue we borowed this worde and many more other) 
as discipulus in Latine : likewise he to whom he is 
bound, is not called his Lorde but his master, as ye 
would say his teacher. And the pactions agreed upon, 
be put in writing, signed and sealed by the parties, and 
registred for more assurance : without being such an 



apprentice in London, and serving out such a servitude 
in the same Citie for the number of yeeres agreed 
upon, by order of the Citie amongest them, no man 
being never so much borne in London, and of parentes 
londoners is admitted to be a Citizen or free man 
of London : the like is used in other great Cities of 
England. Besides apprentises, others be hired for 
wages, and be called servaunts or serving men and 
women throughout the whole Realme, which be not 
in such bondage as apprentises, but serve for the time 
for daily ministrie, as servi and ancilla did in the time 
of gentilitie, and be for other matters in libertie as full 
free men and women. 

But all servaunts, labourers and others not maryed, 
must serve by the yere : and if he be in covenaunt, he 
may not depart out of his service without his masters 
licence, and he must give his master warning that he 
will depart one quarter of a yere before the terme of 
the yere expireth, or else he shalbe compelled to 
serve out an other yere. And if any young man 
unmaried be without service, he shalbe compelled to 
get him a master whom he must serve for that yere, 
or else he shalbe punished with stockes and whipping 
as an idle vagabond. And if any man maried or 
unmaried, not having rent or living sufficient to 
maintaine himselfe, doe live so idely, he is enquired 
of, and sometime sent to the gaole, sometime other- 
wise punished as a sturdie vagabond: so much our 
policie doth abhorre idlenesse. This is one of the 
. chiefe charges of the Justices of peace in everie Shire. 
It is taken for ungentlenesse and dishonour, and a 
shewe of enmitie, if any gentleman doe take an other 
gentlemans servaunt (although his master hath put 


him away) without some certificate from his master 
eyther by word or writing, that he hath discharged 
him of his service. That which is spoken of men 
servaunts, the same is also spoken of women ser- 
vaunts. So that all youth that hath not sufficient 
revenues to maintaine it selfe, must needs with us 
serve, and that after an order as I have written. Thus 
necessitie and want of bondmen hath made men to 
use free men as bondmen to all servile services: but 
yet more liberally and freely, and with a more equalitie 
and moderation, than in time of gentilitie slaves and 
bondemen were woont to be used, as I have saide 
before. This first and latter fashion of temporall servi- 
tude, and upon paction is used in such countryes, as 
have left off the old accustomed maner of servaunts, 
slaves, bondemen and bondwomen, which was in use 
before they had received the Christian faith. Some 
after one sort, and some either more or lesse rigorouslie, 
according as the nature of the people is enclined, or 
hath devised amongest themselves for the necessitie of 

Of the Court which is Spirituall or Ec- 

clesiasticall, and in the booke of Law, Court 

Christian, or Curia Christianitatis. 

Chap. 9. 

THe Archbishops and Bishops have a certaine 
peculiar jurisdiction unto them especially in 
foure maner of causes : Testamentes and legations, 
Tythes and mortuaries, mariage and adulterie or 
fornication, and also of such things as appertaine to 




orders amongest themselves and matters concerning 
\ religion. For as it doeth appeare, our auncestors 
having the common wealth before ordeined and set 
in frame, when they did agree to receive the true and 
Christian religion, that which was established before, 
and concerned externe policie (which their Apostles, 
Doctors and Preachers did allowe) they helde and 
kept still with that which they brought in of newe. 
And those things in keeping whereof they made 
conscience, they committed to them to be ordered and 
governed as such things, as of which they had no 
skill, as to men in whom for the holinesse of their 
life and good conscience, they had a great and sure 
/ confidence. So those matters be ordered in their 
Courts, and after the fashion and maner of the lawe 
civil or rather common by citation, libel, contestationem 
litis, examination of witnesses privilie, by exceptions, 
replications apart and in writing, allegations, matters 
by sentences given in writing, by appellations from 
one to an other as well a gravamine as a sententia 
definitiua, and so they have other names, as Proctor, 
Advocates, Assessors, Ordinaries, and Commissaries, 
&c. farre from the manner of our order in the com- 
mon lawe of Englande, and from that fashion which 
I have shewed you before. Wherefore if I say the 
testament is false and forged, I must sue in the 
spirituall lawe, so also if I demaunde a legacie : but 
if I sue the executor or administrator which is he in 
our lawe, who is in the civill lawe hares or bonorum 
mobilium possessor ab intestato) for a debt which the 
x^dead ought me, I must sue in the temporall court. 
These two courtes the temporall and the spirituall be 
so divided, that who so ever sueth for any thing to 


Rome or in any spirituall court for that cause or action 
which may be pleaded in the temporall court of the 
Realme, by an olde lawe of Englande hee falleth into 
a praemunire, that is hee forfetteth all his goods to the 
Prince, and his bodie to remaine in prison during the 
Princes pleasure : and not that onely, but the Judge, 
the scribe, the procurer and assessor which receiveth 
and doth maintaine that usurped pleading doth incur 
the same daunger. Whether the word praemunire 
doeth betoken that the authoritie and jurisdiction of 
the realme is provided for before, and defended by 
that lawe, and therefore it hath that name praemunire 
or pramuniri, or because that by that lawe such an 
attemture hath had warning given before to him of 
the daunger into which he falleth by such attempt, 
and then praemunire is barbarously written for pr<e- 
monere, prcemoneri, (as some men have helde opinion) 
I will not define, the effect is as I have declared : 
and the lawe was first made in King Richarde the 
secondes time, and is the remedie which is used when 
the spirituall jurisdiction will goe about to encroch 
any thing upon the temporall courts, Because this 
court or forme which is called curia christianitatis y 
is yet taken as appeareth for an externe and forren 
court, and difFerreth from the policie and manner of 
government of the Realme, and is an other court 
(as appeareth by the act and writ of praemunire) than 
curia regis aut regime: Yet at this present this court 
as well as others hath her force, power, authoritie, 
rule and jurisdiction, from the royall majestie and the 
crowne of England and from no other forren poten- 
tate or power under God, which being granted (as 
indeede it is true) it may nowe appeare by some reason 



that the first statute of praemunire whereof I have 
spoken, hath nowe no place in Englande, seeing there 
is no pleading alibi quam in curia regis ac regime. 

I have declared summarily as it were in a chart or 
mappe, or as Aristotle termeth it o!>9 ev tvttw the forme 
and manner of the governement of Englande, and the 
policie thereof, and sette before your eies the prin- 
cipall pointes wherein it doth differ from the policie 
or government at this time used in Fraunce, Italie, 
Spaine, Germanie and all other countries, which doe 
followe the civill lawe of the Romanes compiled by 
Justinian into his pandects and code : not in that sort 
as Plato made his common wealth, or Zenophon his 
kingdome of Persia, nor as Syr Thomas More his Utopia 
being feigned common wealths, such as never was 
nor never shall be, vaine imaginations, phantasies of 
Philosophers to occupie the time and to exercise their 
wittes: but so as Englande standeth and is governed 
at this day the xxviij of March Anno 1565, in the vij 
yeare of the raigne and administration thereof by the 
most vertuous and noble Queene Elizabeth, daughter 
to King Henrie the eight, and in the one and fifteeth 
yeere of mine age, when I was ambassador for her 
majestie in the court of Fraunce, the scepter whereof 
at that time the noble Prince and of great hope Charles 
Maximilian did holde, having then raigned iiij yeares. 
So that whether I writ true or not, it is easie to be 
seene with eies (as a man would say) and felt with 
handes. Wherfore this being as a project or table 
of a common wealth truely laide before you, not 
fained by putting a case : let us compare it with com- 
mon wealthes, which be at this day in esse, or doe 
remaine discribed in true histories, especially in such 


pointes wherein the one differeth from the other, to 
see who hath taken the righter, truer, and more 
commodious way to governe the people aswell in 
warre as in peace. This will be no illiberall occu- 
pation for him that is a Philosopher and hath a 
delight in disputing, nor unprofitable for him 
who hath to doe and hath good will to 
serve the Prince and the common 
wealth in giving counsell for 
the better administration 

Thomas Smyth. 



The first edition of the De Republica appeared in 1583. 
It was printed by Henry Middleton for Gregory Seton. The 
second followed in the next year. It is nearly, though not 
quite, identical with the earlier, the differences, except in the 
marginalia (see Introd. pp. xliii — xlv), being almost exclusively 
mere variants in spelling. Even these variations are to some 
extent explainable when we notice that in the later edition the 
compositor has made freer use than his predecessor of certain 
composite double-O's and double-E's, and that this has led him 
to "full out" his lines with occasional unnecessary mute E's. 
Thus an earlier "stretes...stretes" has become in 1584 "streets 
. . .streetes." 

The third edition comes in 1589. The Latin title is 
now for the first time Englished. The title-page runs as 
follows. "The Common- Welth of England, and Maner of 
Government thereof. Compiled by the honorable Sir Thomas 
Smith, Knight, Doctor of both lawes, and one of the principall 
Secretaries unto two most worthie Princes, King Edward 
and Queen Elizabeth: with new additions of the cheefe 
Courts in England, the offices thereof, and their severall 
functions, by the sayd Author: Never before published. At 
London. Imprinted by John Windet for Gregorie Seton, and 
are to be solde at his shoppe under Aldersgate. 1589." 

The title-page of the fourth is similar (though "Common- 
Wealth" has advanced a step nearer its modern spelling). 


"At London. Printed by Valentine Simmes, for Gregorie 
Seton, and are to be solde at his shoppe under Aldersgate. 


These two editions omit the table of contents and make 
some slight alterations in the marginalia ; e.g. the sharp rebuke 
at the end of the note to III. 8. — "Litleton seene in the 
tongues as Sir Thomas Smith was in Litleton " — is dropped. 
The "new additions," which are common to these and the 
later editions are discussed presently and are printed in this 

The fifth edition replaces "Never before published," and 
the following lines, by the words — "Also a Table added thereto, 
of all the principall matters contained in this Treatise. At 
London. Printed by James Roberts, for Gregorie Seton, and 
are to be sold at his shoppe under Aldersgate. Anno Dom. 
1 60 1." The sixth "newly corrected and amended" is also 
issued at London. "Printed for John Smethwicke, and are to 
be sold at his shop in S. Dunstanes Church-yard, under the 
Diall. 1609." 

Then comes the first Latin version. Haddon, the reader 
will remember, had urged Smith to bring out the book in 
Latin for the benefit of foreign readers; and Strype twice 
declares that it was written both in Latin and in English. 
This however is almost certainly an error, due to Strype's 
having come across some one of the Latin versions and 
imagining it to be Smith's own. In these the additional matter 
of 1589 and later editions is translated, but not the marginal 
notes, the preface, or the table of contents. The title-page 
reads as follows. "De Republica et Administratione Anglorum 
Libri tres : Olim Thomae Smithi, Jureconsulti, Equitis Aurati, 
Divae quin etiam Elizabethae Reginae ab epistolis et sancti- 
orib. consiliis opera confecti : Nunc primum Joannis Buddeni, 
Legum Doctoris, fide optima diligentiaque de sermone Angli- 

K 145 


cano in Latinum conversi. Pro officina Nortoniana. Lon- 
dini." There is no date. The British Museum catalogue 
gives, with a query mark, 1610. 

The British Museum also contains three Latin editions 
issued at Leyden — Elzevirs — 1625, 1630 and 1641. That 
of 1630 is dedicated "Nobilissimo, amplissimo, clarissimo viro, 
D. Thomae Glenhamo" by "Joannes de Laet, Antwerpianus." 
The Latin of these is a mere reproduction, without acknow- 
ledgment, of Budden's 1 translation. 

The Cambridge University Library contains a copy from the 
seventh edition, of which there is no representative at the 
British Museum. "Printed by William Stansby for John 
Smethwicke, and are to bee sold at his shop in S. Dunstanes 
Church-yard under the Dyall. 1612." This edition omits 
all but a few of the marginal notes. 

The eighth, ninth, and tenth English editions, 1621, 1633, 
and 1635, are also printed by W. Stansby for J. Smethwicke, 
London; the eleventh, 1640, by R. Young for J. Smethwicke. 

A Dutch translation of the three important chapters at the 
beginning of the second book was published, apparently without 
any prefatory matter, in 1673, at Amsterdam — Het Parlement 
van Engelandt, met het Sitten, en de Macht van het Se/vige. 
The date is noteworthy. It falls within the period of the 
aggressive war of 1672 — 4 which resulted from the secret 
treaty of Dover between Charles and Louis (the United 
Provinces were to be conquered and divided between the two 
conquerors, and Roman Catholicism to be supported by French 
aid in England). This war Hallam describes as being "so 
repugnant to English interests, so unwarranted by any provo- 
cation, so infamously piratical in its commencement, so ominous 
of further schemes still more dark and dangerous" that it 
" finally opened the eyes of all men of integrity." " It was 

1 Budden was professor of civil law at Oxford (see Diet. Nat. Biog.). 


accompanied by the shutting up of the exchequer, an avowed 
bankruptcy at the moment of beginning an expensive war, and 
by the declaration of indulgence, or suspension of all penal laws 
in religion, an assertion of prerogative which seemed without 
limit. These exorbitances were the more scandalous, that they 
happened during a very long prorogation. Hence the court so 
lost the confidence of the house of commons, that with all the 
lavish corruption of the following period, it could never regain 
a secure majority on any important question." The Dutch 
had good reason therefore to desire first-hand information as to 
the relative powers of king and parliament, and we are not 
surprised to note that other Dutch editions of these chapters 
followed before the end of the century. 

A German edition of the same portion of the work ap- 
peared at Hamburg in 1688 — Eigentliche Beschreibung des 
Parlaments von Engelland, JVie es nehmlich j/rzf, und was tr vor 
Gewalt hat — to which is appended some account of the doings 
in England in that momentous year. The interest, in this 
case, was probably more academic in origin than that felt in 

Next we turn to consider the "new additions" to which 
reference has been made 1 . All, except one, of these are of 
one kind. They are brief descriptions of what we should 
call the "staffs " of the various courts. Thus in the Chancer)' 
are the Chancellor, the Master of the Rolls, Six Masters of the 
Chancery, the Six Clerks, the Clerk of the Hamper, the Clerks 
of the Petty Bag and so forth, and about the duties of each of 
these officers a sentence is written. Mention in the text of 
the Parliament, the Chancery, King's Bench, Common Pleas, 
Exchequer, Star Chamber and Court of Wards serves to intro- 
duce additions of this character, and accounts of two courts 

1 The remainder of this appendix has been supplied by Professor 

K 2 



which the text had not mentioned, namely, the Court of the 
Duchy of Lancaster and the Court of Requests, are inserted. 
The great bulk of the matter thus imported will probably be 
described by almost all modern readers as highly technical 
and extremely uninteresting, though a few sentences that 
are of some value appear sporadically. One of these, which 
occurs in the account of the Parliament, attracts our eye for 
more than one reason. The book in its pristine form tells 
how the Commons choose a Speaker, how they present him to 
the Prince, how the elect "maketh his excuse of unabilitie," 
and how the Chancellor in the Prince's name thanks the 
Commons for choosing so wise, discreet and eloquent a man. 
In the enlarged book we turn back a page or two and see to 
our surprise that the Speaker "is commonly appointed by the 
King or Queen, though accepted by the assent of the House." 
We will not take upon us to say that in this statement there 
is no grain of truth, though we believe that it went far beyond 
the facts, and, to say the least, should not have been made by 
any one who did not explain that he was disregarding forms 
and ceremonies. Does it really come from Sir Thomas 
Smith, from a man who nowhere else shows any tendency to 
belittle the independence of Parliament, from a man who him- 
self describes the election of a Speaker without hinting that 
the Prince has a word to say about the matter, or does it come 
from someone who is more familiar with the courts of law 
than with Parliament? 

The addition to the account of the Star Chamber contains 
another characteristic passage. It is remarked that the offences 
of which cognizance is taken by that court are chiefly of 
statutory origin. And then we are told to "see" 4 and 5 Phil, 
and Mar. cap. 8, and six other statutes — the latest is 5 Eliz. 
cap. 7 — which are expressly cited, "and all the titles of Riots in 
Rastals Abridgement." The like of this we nowhere find in 


the original book. Smith mentions a statute now and again, 
such as Richard II. 's Act of Praemunire and Henry VIII. 's Act 
condemning poisoners to be boiled, but he never mentions 
year and chapter. Bookless in France he could not do it, and 
he did it not after his return. Was he at pains then to make 
these seven citations about one particular matter? 

Also it is to be observed that whereas Sir Thomas writes 
pleasantly and diffusely, the style of these additions is as curt 
and bald as style can be. The augmenter of the book gives us 
technical jargon without a word of explanation. Sir Thomas 
goes to the other extreme and can hardly use a legal term, 
however common, without apology and periphrasis. Let us 
contrast two sentences. "The three Clarks of the Pettie bag 
are they that receive the offices that are found in the Court of 
Wards." That is one style. "And if for anie disobedience of 
not comming and appearing there be a fine (which the latins 
do call Mulctd) set upon any jurors head, the sheriffe is 
charged with it, and taketh the distresses which in latin be 
called Pignora, and answereth therefore to the exchequer." 
That is another style. It is a little hard to believe that one 
and the same author in one and the same book glosses such 
familiar terms as fines and distresses and yet leaves without 
comment such a piece of lawyers' slang as "offices that are 
found in the Court of Wards." To have told us what "the 
Latins" would have called an "office" of the sort that could 
be "found" might have been really instructive 1 . 

We have said that one addition differs in character from all 
the rest. It is the first, and we may regard it as an excuse 
for the others. It forms a chapter interpolated at the begin- 
ning of the Second Book. In the First we have been intro- 

1 The term is an instance of tight compression. An office found is the 
verdict of an inquest taken ex officio (Angl. of office) by a royal officer for 
the ascertainment of the king's rights. 



duced to the various classes of Englishmen. We are going to 
read of what we should call their institutions and first of the 
Parliament. Without any display of juristic or philosophic 
method but with no small literary skill Sir Thomas will then 
show us the other courts of the realm. But a chapter is here 
interpolated of a most methodical or methodological kind. 
It proclaims a method and endeavours to impose it upon the 
residue of the book. Let us look at it. It is entitled "The 
division and definition of the Laws of the Realm in General." 
Substituting some numerals for some brackets, we may say that 
it begins thus: — "The laws of England consist in two points, 
(i) Judgment, and (2) Practice. In Judgment are considered 
(1) Persons, (2) Place, (3) Matter, and (4) Manner. The 
persons in Judgment are (1) Judges in the Courts, (2) Sergeants 
and (3) Counsellors. In Practice are considered (1) Persons, 
and (2) their office. The persons are (1) Protonotaries, (2) 
Solicitors and (3) Attorneys." Then after a few words about 
the duties of Protonotaries, Solicitors and Attorneys, we read 
this: — "The places for Judgment are the Courts where 
sentence is given and the laws made: as the Parliament, 
Chancery, King's Bench, the Common Pleas, the Ex- 
chequer, the Court of Wards, the Star Chamber, the Court 
of Requests, and the Duchy Court of Lancaster. The Matter 
of the Law is (1) Justice and (2) Equity. The Manner of 
their several proceedings followeth." There the interpolated 
chapter ends, and then the unquestionable Sir Thomas begins 
his classical account of the Parliament. 

Here indeed is a display of method. We might be reading 
some notes of an introductory lecture. And a curious method 
it is. The laws, we are told, consist in two points: (1) Judg- 
ment, and (2) Practice. In other words, for the context shows 
that this is meant, the laws consist in judicial proceedings in 
which judges, sergeants and counsellors take part, and pre- 


liminary proceedings which are in the hands of protonotaries, 
attorneys and the like. If we regard this as political theory or 
jurisprudence, it is very poor stuff; but if we regard it as an 
apology for what the interpolator is going to do, it is to the 
point. Whenever Smith mentions a court, a passage is to be 
introduced which will speak of the staff of that court from the 
judges down to the attorneys, who it will be remembered, are 
officers of the court. The little army of cursitors, filacers, 
clerks of the warrants and clerks of the essoins, clerks of the 
hamper and clerks of the petty bag is to pass in review, though 
we shall not be much the wiser when we have read the brief 
sentences that tell us of their duties. That is why the laws of 
England consist in (i) Judgment and (2) Practice. 

We can imagine a demand for information of this sort. 
In the days before newspapers and blue books and official 
almanacs it went some way towards satisfying a reasonable 
curiosity concerning public officers and their doings. It seemed 
to lift one corner of a curtain behind which were mysteries. 
We can imagine someone thinking that Smith's work would be 
much improved by the insertion of such useful knowledge. We 
can imagine some clerk of the warrants or clerk of the essoins, 
some clerk of the hamper or clerk of the petty bag, thinking 
that the secretary of state had unduly neglected "Practice" 
and the important functionaries who are concerned therein. 
What we cannot easily imagine is that Sir Thomas wrote this 
methodical but jejune chapter and thereby lowered the tone 
of his whole treatise. 

On the whole therefore we feel bound to say that in our 
judgment the " new additions of the cheefe Courts in England, 
the officers thereof, and their severall functions " are not, as the 
title-page declares, "by the sayd author." Apparently they 
were composed some few years before they were published in the 
edition of 1589. They suppose that the writs issuing from the 



Courts of King's Bench and Common Pleas are tested re- 
spectively by Christopher Wray and James Dyer. This shows 
that, as they now stand, they could not have been written 
before November 1574 when Wray became chief justice; and 
we should infer that they were written before May 1582 when 
Dyer was succeeded by Anderson. The copy of them which 
is now to be printed was made from one of the seventeenth 
century editions, but except as regards spelling and punctuation, 
it reproduces the text of 1589, with which it has been collated. 

Chap. i. 

The division and definition of the Lawes of this Realme 
in general!. 



The Lawes of England consist 
in two points, 

In Judgment are considered 

The persons in judgment 
are the 


Matter, and 
„ Manner. 

( Judges in their Courts 
\ Sergeants and 
I Counsellours. 

their Office. 
Sollicitors, and 

i 5 2 


Their office is to prepare the matter, and to make it ready 
for the Judges to determine. 

The Protonotaries are the Clerks in the Court, which doe 
record the matters hanging in judgement, and do frame the 
pleading, enter the Rules and Orders of the Court, the Ver- 
dicts and Judgements given in the same. 

Sollicitors are such as being learned in the Lawes, and 
informed of their Masters Cause, doe informe and instruct the 
Counsellors in the same. 

Attornies are such as by experience have learned and do 
know the orders and manner of proceeding in every Court 
where they serve, and doe purchase out Writs and Processe 
belonging to their Clients Cause : They see to his Suits, that 
he be not hindred by negligence : They pay fees belonging to 
the Courts and prepare the Cause for judgement. 

The places for judgement are the Courts where sentence is 
given and the Lawes made : as the Parliament, Chancery, 
Kings Bench, the Common Pleas, the Exchequer, the Court of 
Wards, the Starre Chamber, the Court of Requests, and the 
Dutchie Court of Lancaster. 

The manner of their severall proceedings followeth. 

[At the end of Book I. chapter I .] 

The Judges in Parliament are, the King or Queens Majestie; 
the Lords Temporall and Spirituall ; the Commons, represented 
by the Knights and Burgesses of every Shire and Borough 
Towne. These all, or the greater part of them, and that with 
the consent of the Prince for the time being, must agree to 
the making of Lawes. 



The Officers in Parliament are, the Speakers, two Clarices, 
the one for the Higher House, the other for the Lower; and 

The Speaker is he that doth commend and preferre the 
Bils exhibited into the Parliament, and is the Mouth of the 
Parliament. Hee is commonly appointed by the King or 
Queerie, though accepted by the assent of the House. 

The Clarks are the keepers of the Parliament Rolls and 
Records and of the Statutes made, and have the custodie of 
the private Statutes not printed. 

The Committees are such as either the Lords in the higher 
House or Burgesses in the Lower House, doe choose to frame 
the Lawes upon such Bils as are agreed upon, and after- 
ward to bee ratified by the sayde Houses. 

\At the end of Book II. chapter 1 1 .] 

Out of this Court, as from the person of the Prince come 
all manner of originall Writs. The declaration of writs is at 
large set downe in the register of writs, and in the Natura 
Brevium: Out of this Court come most commonly Commis- 
sions, Patents, Licences, Inquisitions etc. 

The Judges of this Court are the Lord Chancellour of 
England, Assistants, the Masters of the Rols, and six Masters of 
the Chancery, which are commonly Doctors of the Civil Law. 

Officers are the sixe Clarks of the Chancery, the Clark of 
the Crowne generall, the Register, Controler of the Seale, two 
examiners, the dark of the Hamper, the three clarks of the 
Petty bag, the Cursiters, the Sergeant of the Mace. 

The Lord Chancelor is the keeper of the greate Seale, and 
hath it carried with him wheresoever he goeth. 

The Master of the Rols is the keeper of the Records, 
Judgments and Sentences given in the Court of Chancerie. 



The six Masters are assistants to the Court, to shew what is 
the equity of the civill Law, and what is conscience. 

The Clarke of the Crowne is the chiefe Guardian of all the 
matters of the Crowne : what are Crowne matters, and Pleas of 
the Crowne, ^ee in the learned Booke of Stanford, called the 
Pleas of the Crowne. 

The six Clarks are the Atturnies, as well for the Plaintiffe, 
as Defendant, in every suite in this court. 

The Register is the engrosser and keeper of the de- 
crees, publications, orders and injunctions issuing out of this 

The two examiners are such as take the examination of the 
witnesses brought to prove or reprove any thing in suite in this 
Court, and to put their depositions and answers made to their 
interrogatories in writing. 

The Controler of the Seale is to see and allow of all the 
Writs made in this court. 

The Clarke of the Hamper is hee that doth receive the fines 
due for every Writ sealed in this court. 

The three Clarks of the Pettie bag, are they that receive 
the Offices that are found in the Court of Wards. 

The Cursiters are Clarks appointed to their severall shires 
which do write original Writs that belong to this court or the 
common place. 

The Sergeant carrieth the Mace before the Lord Chancellor, 
and is to call any man before him at his commandement. 

The Processe in the Chancerie is a Subpoena, which is but 
to call the partie before him upon a paine, as upon paine of 
lx. li. etc. And this is the way used to bring in the party, or 
else by the Sergeant as before. 

The punishment is, if the party will not come in, or comming 
in will not obey the order of the court, imprisonment during 
the pleasure of the Lord Chancellour. 



The order of proceeding is by Injunctions, Decrees, and 
orders which are to bind the partie, and if he resist, his punish- 
ment is imprisonment. 

The matter in this Court are all causes wherein equity and 
extremitie of Law doe strive and where the rigour of Lawes 
have no remedy, but conscience and the moderation of Summum 
jus hath sufficient. 

And here it is to be noted, that conscience is so regarded in 
this Court, that the Lawes are not neglected, but they must 
both joyne and meet in a third, that is, in a moderation of 
\ extremity. 

This court is called of some Officina Juris Civilis Anglorum, 
because out of this court issue all maner of Processe which give 
the partie his cause of action in other courts. 

[Two chapters following Book II. chapter 1 1 and 
headed 13 and 14.] 

Chap. 13. 

Of the Kings Bench. 

The Kings Bench is the Kings Court, so called because 
usually the Kings have sitten there, and also because that 
therein all are causes handled which appertaine to the Crowne: 
and such causes as wherein the King or Queene is a party, if 
they properly appertaine not to some other Court. 
/* The Judges of the Kings Bench are the Lord chiefe 
Justice of England, with other his companions assistant in 
giving judgement. 

The Sergeants and Counsellors doe debate the cause. 

The sentence is given by the chiefe Justice, the others all or 
the most part assenting, as it shall appeare to be in other courts 
likewise. If they cannot agree, then is the matter referred to a 


demurre in the Exchequer chamber before all the Justices of 
both the Benches, viz. the Kings Bench and the Common 
Pleas, and the Lord Chiefe Baron of the Exchequer. 

The Officers in the Kings Bench are the chiefe Protonothary, 
the Secondary, the Clarke of the Crowne, the Clarke of the 
Exigents, the Clarke of the Papers, the Custos Brevium and 
Custos Sigilli. 

The Protonothary is he, that recordeth all Judgements, 
Orders and Rules in this Court, and all Verdicts given, being 
not of Crowne matters. 

The Secondary is the Protonotharies Deputie, for the said 
causes, and he is the keeper and maker up of these Records in 

The Clarke of the Crowne is to frame all Indictments of 
Felony, Treason, Murther etc. all manner of Appeales, and 
after to record them and enter the Verdict, and to make and 
keepe the Records touching these matters. 

The Clark of the Exigents is to frame all manner of 
Processes of Exigi facias, which doe issue out of that Court 
to out-law any man, and to record the out-lawry. 

The Clarke of the Papers is hee that keepeth all Rols, 
Scripts, and pleadings, and other things in writing which are 
not of Record. 

The Custos Brevium is he which fileth all the Writs 
Judiciall and Originall, after the Sheriffe hath returned them : 
he is chargeable if any be embeselled or privily conveyed away 
from the file. 

The Custos Sigilli is he, that doth keep the Seale, and 
seeketh \corr. sealeth] all judiciall Writs, and all Patents, Licences 
issuing out of this Court, and taketh the fee due for them, and 
thereof is to make his account. 

There are certayne Atturnies belonging to this Court in 
number as the Protonothorie shall appoynt : those are for 



Plaintiffes and defendants in every cause, and they frame and 
make the pleadings. 

The manner of proceeding in this Court is by Latitat, Arest, 
and Bill. 

The Latitat is to bring the party in when he is not to be 
found, or will not appeare and answere. 

Arrest is when the party is arrested, and then is driven to 
finde baile, viz. two sufficient sureties or more as the case shall 

By Bill the suite is when the party is in Custodia Mareschali y 
and is from thence brought to answer. 

The Matters in this Court are properly all matters of the 
Crowne, whereof see Stanfords booke aforesaide. 

In these they proceede by Inditements, verdict, appeale. 
Improperly all suites wherein the King is a party, or may have 
any losse. Such are Conspiracies, Champarties, Imbrasier, 
Maintenance, Decies tantum, maymes, Slanders, actions sur le 
cas: of these see Natura brevium. 

Chap. 15. 

Of the Court of Common Pleas. 

The court of Common Pleas is the Kings court, wherein 
are holden all common pleas betweene Subject and Subject of 
all matters of common Law : so called, for that it serveth for 
the exact and precise administration of the common Law. 

The Judges in this court are, Lord chiefe Justice of the 
common Pleas, three other his Associats : The Sergeants at the 
Law whose number is sometimes more, sometimes lesse, at 
the pleasure of the Prince. These all are sworne to serve the 
turne of the common Law at this Barre. 


Two of them are alwayes appointed to serve the Princes 
turne in what Court soever, and are called the Queenes 

The Officers of this Court are the Custos Brevium, three 
Protonotharies, the Clarke of the Warrants, the Clarke of the 
Essoynes, divers Atturnies, Fillisers for every Shire, Exigenters 
for everie shire, the Clarke of the Juries, the Chirographer for 
fines, the Clark of the Queenes silver for errours in this Court 
committed, the Clark of the Seale, as before for the Kings 

The Custos Brevium is the chiefe Clark in the Court, and 
hee hath the custody of all the Writs whatsoever returnable 
into this Court, come they in at the day of the returne, or after 
the day, which is called post diem. 

The Protonotharies are they which after the parties have 
appeared in court, do enter the matter in suite, and make the 
pleadings, and enter them. 

The Fillisers are they which make up all meane processe 
upon the originall Writs, and the same Writs returned by the 
Sheriffe, are by the Atturnies delivered to the Custos Brevium 
to file or string, there to remaine of Record. 

The Exigenters are such as make out the Exigents and 
Writs of Proclamation into every county, where the parties are, 
that upon the measne Processe or Summons will not appeare. 

The Clarke of the Warrants is he which doth take the 
Warrants of an Atturney, which shall prosecute for the 
Plaintiffe or Defendant : and is he that enrolleth all deeds 
acknowledged before the Justices of the same court. 

The Clarke of the Essoynes, is he which doth Essoyne 
the Defendants in every Action, before the day of his appear- 

An Essoyne is an ordinary delay by Office of court in 
action : and the Officer before whom the Clarke is to take these 

J 59 


Essoynes, is the punie Justice in the Common Pleas, who for 
that purpose sitteth three days before the Terme. 

The common Atturnies are such as are allowed in this 
court, by the Lord chiefe Justice of the common Pleas and 
his Assistance to prosecute or defend according to the instruc- 
tions of their clients for the Plaintiffe or Defendant. 

The Clark of the Juries is he that doth make the Venire 
Facias, to the Sheriffe to warne the Juries by. 
y The Chirographer is he that hath the Writ of covenant 
with the concord brought unto him, and he maketh Indentures 
tripartite, wherof two are delivered to the party for whose use 
the fine is acknowledged, and the third part is reserved with 
him. And all the Proclamations of the same fine according to 
the Statutes made, are endorsed on the third part remayning, 
and it is commonly called the foot of the fine. 

The Clarke of the Queenes silver is a distinct Office of the 
fines, and is he who setteth downe the money that his Majesty 
is to have for the fine, according to the yeerely value of the 
Land confessed, knowne, deposed or agreed upon. 

All Errours in this court committed, are reformed in the 
Kings Bench, before the Lord chiefe Justice, and other Justices 
there assistant by Writ of Errour. 

There is also the Clarke of the Out-lawries, who is the 
Kings Atturney Generall, and he entreth the Out-lawry for 
the Queene, after the Exigent delivered : and he maketh all the 
Writs of Out-lawry : and none are to be made but by him. 

The matters of the common Pleas are all sutes of common 
Law commenced by any Writ originall, reall or personal. 

Reall are such as touch the inheritance, or fee of any man. 

Personall are such as touch transitory things, as goods, 
chattels, personall wrongs etc. 

The difference between a Writ Originall, and a Writ 
Judiciall, is this: the original saith in the end of it (in the 
1 60 


person of the King or Queen) teste meipso, or teste meipsa apud 
Westmonasterium. The Judiciall Writ saith in the end, Teste 
Cbristophoro IVray, or Teste yacobo Dyer, or such other as shal 
be the Lord chiefe Justice of either of those Benches. 

The order of processes how they follow the one after the 
other. In this court is first a- Summoneas in some Action, then 
an Attachias, but in most a Capias, then a Capias pluries, then 
Exigi facias, and a Proclamation into the county where the 
Defendant dwelleth. 

The Summoneas is the originall, and goeth out of the 
Chancery, and is directed to the Sheriffe to bring the party 
by a day. 

The Sheriffes order in serving this Writ, is to goe himselfe, 
or his Bayliffe, to the Land, and there to garnish the party, by 
sticking up a stick on his Land, which done, the Sheriffe 
returneth two common pledges, Johannes Do, and Richardus 
Ro, and two Summonees [corr. Summoners], Richardus Den y 
Henricus Fen. After the Summonees [corr. summons], if the 
party come not in, issueth out an Attachias in nature of a 
precept, to authorize the Sheriffe to go to his Land or House 
and there to take a pledge for his appearance. 

But if the party Plaintiffe meane to out-law the Defendant, 
he getteth a Summoneas out of the Chancery to the Sheriffe to 
warne the party, who returneth nihil habet etc. Then the 
Plaintiffe getteth a Capias to take his body, then an Alias 
Capias, then a Pluries Capias, to all which the Sheriffe 
returneth in order as they bee given out, non est inventus', 
after which if the Party appear not, goeth out to the Sheriffe 
the Exigi facias, and a Proclamation to proclaime the party in 
five severall County dayes : after which Proclamations, if he do 
not appeare, he is returned Quinto exactus et non comparuit et ideo 
utlagatus, unlesse hee doe first purchase a Supersedeas, to the 
court to surcease. The Supersedeas is granted at the suite of 

l 161 


the plaintife [corr. defendant] to stay the Out-lawrie, and is an 
appearance to the suite for the Defendant, suggesting to the 
court, that his Exigent improvide emanavit shewing that the 
Defendant was alwayes ready to appeare by his Atturney. 
This done, the Plaintiffe declareth, the Defendant answereth, 
if the answer be issuable they proceed to tryall. 

The manner of proceeding is either to joyne issue, and so to 
passe to Verdict, or else to Demurre. The tryall is by Verdict, 
when the question is made de facto, as where the matter was 
done, when, by whom etc. 

[In Book II. chapter 14. The words in square brackets 
belong to the first editions also.'] 

/ [In English we call them Barons of the Exchequer, whereof 
is one who is called the chiefe Baron, as Tribunus or jfuridicus 
rationalis primus, or princeps\ with others to them assistant: the 
Chanceller of the Exchequer, two Chamberlaines, and Atturney 
^general, y [The chiefe of al is called high Treasurer of England, 
as you would say in Latine, Supremus aerarij anglici quaestor or 
Tribunus aerarius maximus.~] 

Hee hath the charge and keeping of the King or Queenes 
treasure, and many Officers are at his sole appointment, and to 
him accountant, as well in the Tower, Exchequer, as elsewhere ; 
as Auditors in the Mint, Auditors and Tellers in the Exchequer, 
Receivers etc. 

The Chancellour is the under treasurer, and is governour of 
the court, under the high treasurer. Many Officers also are at 
his appointment. 

The chiefe Baron is the Judge in Law-causes, incident to 
this court, the three other Barons are assistants. 

The Atturney is the Atturney generall, to defend the 
Queenes right, and to peruse all grants, particulars, suits and 


causes handled in this court. There are common Atturneyes 
besides, which serve for the suiters of this court. 

The other Officers are two Remembrancers, two Clarices of 
the Pipe, two of the first fruits and tenthes. 

The Remembrancers are those which keepe all the Records 
of the Exchequer betweene the Queene and her subjects and 
enter the rules and orders there made, the one is for the Prince, 
the other is for the Lord treasurer. 

The Clarices of the Pipe are those that make leases upon 
particulars, and receive the Sheriffes accounts; those receive 
also the bonds and titles of other assurances. 

In the Office of the first fruits, are received all first fruits 
due to her Majesty by Bishops, Deanes, and all Ecclesiasticall 
Persons, answerable by order of the Law. 

Other officers are tellers, Auditors, Collectors, Rent- 
gatherers, taile-makers etc. 

The matters of this court are all penal punishment, as 
intrusions, alienations without licence, penall forfaitures upon 
popular actions (a popular action is while the one part is given 
to the informer; the rest to the Prince). Of these see the 
whole body of Statutes at large or in Rastalls collection. 

In this court are handled all paiments, accounts, expences of 
the Queenes revenues. 

The usuall Processe of this Court is a Sub poena out of this 
court, or a messenger to call the party. S 

[At the end of Book III. chapter 4.] 

The Judges of this Court are the Lord Chancellor, the 
Lord Treasurer, all the Queenes Majesties Councel, the Barons 
of this Land. 

The Officers therein are a Clark, three Atturnies, an 

L 2 163 


The Clarke keepeth the records, rules, entries, orders and 
decrees made in this Court. 

The three Attumies are for the plaintiffe and for the 
defendant to frame their complaints, and answeres, and make 
the matter apt to be heard for the Lords. 

The Examiner taketh the depositions of the witnesses of 
both sides, to the proofe or disproofe of the cause. 

The order of proceeding to judgement is by assent of voices, 
and open yeelding of their mind in Court, the major part being 
preferred for sentence. 

The punishment most usuall, is imprisonment, pillory, a 
fine, and many times both fine and imprisonment. 

The processe is a Sub poena, an attachment, a proclamation 
of rebellion, and a commission of rebellion, 

This Sub poena is in manner of a libell or precept. 

The Proclamation and commission of rebellion serve when 
the party is stubborne, having made contempt, and commeth 
not in by the former processe. 

The Messengers of this Court are the Warden of the Fleet : 
or the Sergeants at Armes. 

The matters belonging most commonly are by statutes, as 
is taking away of maids within age against their parents or 
guardians will. See Anno 4^5 Phil. & Maria cap. 8. All 
notable forgeries, counterfeiting letters or privie tokens. See 
Hen. 8. Anno 33, cap. 1. An. 5. Eliz, cap. I J. Slandering of 
Nobles, and seditious newes. See R. 2. Anno 2. cap. 5. Anno 
I. & 2. Phil. & Maria, cap. 2. Anno 2. 3. Eliz. cap. 7. All 
notable riots and unlawfull Assemblies. See Anno 1. Eliz. 
cap. 17. And all the titles of Riots in Rastah Abridgement, 
all notable deceits, and all kinde of cousenage, &c. 



[At the end of Book III. chapter 5.] 

The Judge in this Court is the Maister of the Wardes. 

Officers are the Attourney of the Wardes for the Queene. 

The Surveyor, the Auditor, the Treasurer, the Clark, two 
common Atturnies, inferiour officers, also Messengers, and 

The Attourney for the Wardes is alwayes for the Queenes 
right, and assistant with the Maister of the Wards. 

The Surveyor is he that hath the alowing of every Liverie 
that is sued out. 

The Auditor taketh the account, and causeth proces to be 

The Treasurer receaveth the mony due to her Majestic 

The Clark is writer of the Records, and writer of the 
decrees, processes, and orders of the Court. 

The matters of this Court are all benefits that may come 
unto her Majestie, by guard, by marriage, preuveer, season [corr. 
primer seisin], and releefe. 

The generall processe in this Court is a commission, a 
processe in manner of a proclamation, warning the party or 
parties to appeare before the maister of the wards. More 
speciall processe belonging to this Court, are a Diem clausit 
extremum, a Devenerunt, a melius inquirendum, a Datum est nobis 
intelligi, a Quae plura. Of the nature of these, see Stanfords 
booke of the Kings prerogative. 

Out of this Court are the Liveries sued, and committed to 
the Clarks of the Petty bagge, officers in the Chauncerie. 

When the heire hath prooved his age, and sued his Liverie, 
then he must doe homage to [blank in text] that is the Deputy 
of the Prince for that purpose, and then must pay a fine or fee 
to the Lord privy Seale. 



[Two chapters following on Book III. chapter 5.] 

The Dutchie Court. 

Chap. 6. 

The Duchie Court of Lancaster is also the Queenes Court 
of Record. In it are holden all pleas real and personall, which 
concerne any of the Dutchie Lands, now in her Majesties 
hands and parcell of her crowne : but severed in Court and 

The Judge in this Court is the Chancelour assisted by the 
Attourney of the Dutchie for the Queene, the Clarke of the 
Court, divers Surveyors, two common Attourneies, divers 
Auditors, two assistants, the Sergeant of her Majestic 

The Chauncelour is a Judge of the Court, to see justice 
administred betweene her Majestie and her Subjects and 
betweene party and party. 

The Attourney is to maintaine the Queenes right, and 
is assistant to the Chauncelour, and sheweth him what the 
law is. 

The Clarke keepeth the Roles and Records, and maketh 
the Processe. 

The Surveiors are divers, one more principal : they survey 
the Queenes lands within the Dutchy. 

The Auditors are divers : one more principall, they are to 
account and make the order of the receits within the Dutchie. 

The common Attourneies are for the suitors that have cause 
in action within the Court. 

The Assistants are two Judges at the Common law that are 
to aid them in difficult points of the law. 

The Sergeant for the Queene, is a learned Counsailor, 
appointed to be of her Majesties Counsell for her right. 

There is also belonging to this Court a Vice-chancelour, 


that serveth for the County Palatine of Lancaster, he maketh 
all originall processes within his libertie, as doth the Lord 
Chauncelour of England for the Chauncerie. 

The Processe of the County Palatine, is a Sub poena, as in 
the Chauncerie. 

The Court of Requests. 
Chap. 7. 

This Court is the Court wherein all sutes made to her 
Majestie by way of supplication or petition are heard and ended, 
neither shoulde it holde plea of any other matters then such. 
And this is called the poore mans Court, because there hee 
should have right without paying any money : and it is called 
also the Court of conscience. 

The Judges in this Court are the Maisters of Requests, one 
for the common lawes, the other for the civill lawes. 

The Officers in this court, are the Register, the Examinor, 
three Atturneis, one messenger or Pursuivant. 

The Examinor is he that apposeth the witnesses by oath, and 
recordeth their depositions. 

The Atturneis serve for the plaintife and defendant to frame 
their complaints and aunswers. 

The Pursuivant is an officer in this court, to bring any man 
before the Judges whom they shall name. 

The matters in this Court at this day, are almost all sutes 
that by colour of equitie or supplication made to the Prince, 
may be brought before them : properly all poore mens sutes, 
which are made to her Majestie by supplication. 

The Processes in this Court, are a privie seale, proclamation 
of rebellion. 

The nature of these Processes is, as was said before in the 
Court of Starre-chamber. 



/ The following extracts from Harrison's Description of 
England, Book n. chapter 5, are taken from the first edition of 
N Holinshed's Chronicles, 1577. Readers who are interested in 
the mutual " borro wages " of the two writers will find 
Dr Furnivall's excellent edition of Harrison's work especially 
convenient. The earlier and the later readings of Harrison are 
there given in combination. 

" We in England divide our people commonlie into foure 
sorts, as gentlemen, citizens or burgesses, yeomen, and artificers 
or laborers. Of gentlemen the first and cheefe (next the king) 
be the prince, dukes, marquesses, earls, viscounts and barons : 
and these are called the Nobilitie, they are also named Lordes 
and noble men, and next to them be Knights and Esquiers, and 
simple gentlemen. [Cf. Smith 1. 16 ad fin.] 

The title of prince dooth particulate belong to the kings 
eldest sonne, who is called prince of Wales, and is the heire 
apparent to the crowne; as in France the kings eldest sonne 
hath the title of Dolphine, and is named peculiarlie Monsieur. 
[Cf. Smith 1. 18.] 

Dukes, marquesses, earles, visconts and barons, either be 
created of the prince, or come to that honor by being the eldest 
sonnes or highest in succession to their parents. For the eldest 
sonne of a duke during his fathers life is an erle, the eldest sonne 
of an erle is a baron or sometimes a viscont, according as the 


creation is. The creation I call the original donation and 
condition of the honour given by the prince for the good 
service doone by the first ancestor, with some advancement, 
which, with the title of that honour, is alwaies given to him 
and his heires males onelie. The rest of the sonnes of the 
nobilitie by the rigor of the law be but esquiers : yet in common 
speech all dukes and marquesses sonnes, and earles eldest sonnes 
be called lords, the which name commonlie dooth agree to 
none of lower degree than barons, yet by law and use these be 
not esteemed barons. [Cf. Smith I. 17.] 

The baronie or degree of lords dooth answer to the degree 
of senators of Rome and the title of nobilitie (as we use to call 
it in England) to the Romane Patrkij. Also in England no 
man is created baron, except he maie dispend of yearelie 
revenues so much as maie fullie mainteine and beare out his 
countenance and port. But visconts, erles, marquesses, and 
dukes exceed them according to the proportion of their degree 
and honour. But though by chance he or his sonne have lesse, 
yet he keepeth this degree : but if the decaie be excessive and 
not able to mainteine the honour, as Senatores Romani were 
moti senatu : so sometimes they are not admitted to the upper 
house in the parlement although they keepe the name of lord 
still, which can not be taken from them upon anie such 
occasion. [Cf. Smith 1. 17.] 

Knights be not borne, neither is anie man a knight by 
succession, no, not the king or prince: but they are made 
either before the battell, to incourage them the more to adven- 
ture and trie their manhood: or after as an advancement for 
their courage and prowesse alreadie shewed. They are made 
either by the king himselfe, or by his commission and roiall 
authoritie given for the same purpose : or by his lieutenant in 
the warres. This order seemeth to answer in part to that 



which the Romans called Equitum Romanorum. For as Equites 
Romani were chosen Ex censu y that is according to their sub- 
stance and riches ; so be the knights in England most commonlie 
according to their yearelie revenues or substance and riches, 
wherewith to mainteine the estates. Yet all that had Equestrem 
censurri) were not chosen to be knights, no more be all made 
knights in England that may spend a knights lands, but they 
onelie whome the prince will honour. The number of the 
knights in Rome was uncerteine : and so it is of knights with 
us, as at the pleasure of the prince. We call him knight in 
English that the French calleth Chevalier, and the Latins 
Equitem, or Equestris ordinis virum. And when any man is 
made a knight, he kneeling downe is striken of the Prince or 
his substitute with his sword naked upon the shoulder, the 
prince etc: saieing, Soyes chevalier au nom de Dieu. And when 
he riseth up the Prince saith Advances bon chevalier. This is 
the maner of dubbing knights at this present, and the tearme 
(dubbing) is the old tearme for that purpose and not creation. 

At the coronation of a king or queene, there be knights 
made with longer and more curious ceremonies, called " Knights 
of the bath." But how soever one be dubbed or made 
knight, his wife is by and by called madame or ladie, so well 
as the barons wife ; he himselfe having added to his name in 
common appellation this syllable Sir, which is the title whereby 
we call our knights here in England. 

The other order of knighthood in England, and the most 
honorable is that of the garter, instituted by king Edward the 
third, who — after he had gained manie notable victories, taken 
king John of France, and king James of Scotland (and kept 
them both prisoners in the Tower of London at one time) 
expelled king Henrie of Castile the bastard out of his realme, 
and restored Don Petro unto it (by the helpe of the prince of 
Wales and duke of Aquitaine his eldest sonne called the Blacke 


prince) he — then invented this societie of honour, and made a 
choise out of his owne realme and dominions, and throughout 
all christendome of the best, most excellent and renowmed 
persons in all vertues and honour, and adorned them with yt 
to be knights of his order, giving them a garter garnished with 
gold and pretious stones, to weare dailie on the left leg onlie : 
also a kirtle, gowne, cloke, chaperon, collar, and other solemne 
and magnificent apparell, both of stuffe and fashion exquisite 
and heroicall to weare at high feasts as to so high and princelie 
an order apperteineth. Of this companie also he and his 
successors, kings and queenes of England, be the souereignes, 
and the rest by certeine statutes and lawes amongst themselues 
be taken as brethren and fellowes in that order, to the number 
of six and twentie, as I find in a certeine treatise written of 
the same, an example whereof I have here inserted word for 
word, as it was delivered unto me, beginning after this maner. 
[Cf. Smith i. 18.] 

Esquire (which we call commonlie squire) is a French 
word, and so much in Latine as Scutiger vel armiger, and such 
are all those which beare armes, or armoires, testimonies of 
their race from whence they be descended. They were at first 
costerels or the bearers of the armes of barons, or knights, & 
thereby being instructed in armes, had that name for a dignitie 
given to distinguish them from common souldiers when they 
were togither in the field. [Cf. Smith i. 19.] 

Gentlemen be those whome their race and bloud doth 
make noble and knowne. The Latines call them Nobiles & 
generosos, as the French do Nobles. The etymologie of the 
name expoundeth the efficacie of the word: for as Gens in 
Latine betokeneth the race and surname : so the Romans had 
Cornelias, Sergios, Fabios, Aetnilios, Julios, Brutos &c: of which, 
who were Agnati, and therefore kept the name, were also 
called Gentiles, gentlemen of that or that house and race. 



As the King or Queene doth dubbe knights, and createth the 
Barons and higher degrees, so gentlemen whose ancestours are 
not knowen to come in with William Duke of Normandie, do 
take their beginning in England, after this maner in our tymes. 
* Whosoeuer studieth the lawes of the realme, who so studieth in 
the Universitie or professeth Physicke and the liberall Sciences, 
or beside his service in the rowme of a capitaine in the warres, 
can live ydlely and without manuell labour, and therto is able 
and will beare the port, charge and countenaunce of a gentle- 
man, he shall be called Master (which is the title that men 
give to Esquires and Gentlemenne) and reputed for a Gentleman,/ 
which is so much the lesse to be disalowed, as for that the Prince 
doth lose nothing by it, the gentleman being so much subject to 
taxes and publicke payments as is the Yeoman or husbandman, 
which he also doth beare the gladlyer for the saving of his 
reputation. Being called to the warres what soever it cost 
him, he will both arraie & arme himselfe accordinglie, and 
shew the more manly courage, and all the tokens of the person 
which he representeth. No man hath hurt by it but him- 
selfe, who peradventure will now and then beare a bigger 
saile than his boat is able to susteine. [Cf. Smith I. 20, and 
1. 21.] 

Citizens and burgesses have next place to gentlemen, who 
be those that are free within the cities, and are of some sub- 
stance to beare office in the same. But these citizens or 
burgesses are to serve the commonwealth in their cities and 
boroughs, or in corporat townes where they dwell. And in 
the common assemblie of the realme to make lawes called the 
parlement the ancient cities appoint foure, and the boroughs 
two burgesses to have voices in it, and to give their consent 
or dissent unto such things as passe or staie there in the 
name of the citie or borow, for which they are appointed. 

[Cf. Smith 1. 22.] 



Our Yeomen are those which by our lawyers are calledV 
Legales homines^ free men borne English, and may dispend of 
their owne free land in yearlie revenue, to the summe of 
fortie shillings sterling. This sort of people have a certeine 
preheminence, and more estimation than labourers & artificers 
& commonlie live wealthilie, keepe good houses, and travell to 
get riches. They are also for the most part farmers to gentlemen 
& with grasing, frequenting of markets, and keeping of servants 
(not idle servants as the gentlemen doth, but such as get both 
their owne and part of their masters living) do come to great 
welth, in somuch that manie of them are able and doo buie the 
lands of unthriftie gentlemen, and often setting their sonnes to 
the schooles, to the universities, and to the Ins of the court ; or 
otherwise leaving them sufficient lands wherupon they may live 
without labour, doo make their sayde sonnes by that means to 
become gentlemen : these were they that in times past made all 
France afraid. And the kings of England in foughten battels, 
were woont to remaine among them (who were their foot- 
men) as the French kings did amongst their horsemen: the 
prince thereby shewing where his chiefe strength did consist. 
[Cf. Smith i. 23.] 

The fourth and last sort of people in England are daie 
labourers, poor husband men, and some retailers (which have 
no free land) copie holders, and all artificers, as tailers, shomakers, 
carpenters, brickmakers, masons &c. As for slaves and bondmen 
we have none. These therefore have neither voice nor 
authoritie in the common wealth, but are to be ruled, and not 
to rule other: yet they are not altogither neglected, for in 
cities and corporat townes, for default of yeomen, they are faine 
to make up their inquests of such maner of people. And in 
villages they are commonlie made churchwardens, sidemen, 
aleconners, constables, and manie times injoie the name of 
hedboroughes. This furthermore among other things I have 



to saie of our husbandmen and artificers, that they were never 
so excellent in their trades as at this present. But as the 
workemanship of the later sort was never lesse strong and 
substantiall for continuance and benefit of the buiers. Certes 
there is nothing that hurteth our artificers more than hast, and 
a barbarous or slavish desire by ridding their worlce to make 
speedie utterance of their wares : which inforceth them to 
bungle up and dispatch manie things they care not how so they 
be out of their hands, whereby the buier is often sore defrauded, 
and findeth to his cost, that hast maketh wast according to the 

But to leave these things and proceed with our purpose, 
and herein (as occasion serveth) generallie to speake of the 
common-wealth of England, I find that it is governed and 
mainteined by three sorts of persons. 

i. The prince, monarch, and head governour, which is 
called the king, or (if the crowne fall to the woman) the 
queene : in whose name and by whose authoritie all things are 

2. The gentlemen, which be divided into two parts, as 
the baronie or estates of lords (which conteineth barons and all 
above that degree) and also those that be no lords, as knights, 
esquiers, & simple gentlemen &c, it shall be inough to have 
remembred them at this time. 

3. The third and last sort is named the yeomanrie, of 
whom & their sequele, the labourers and artificers, I have said 
somewhat even now." 

[Cf. Smith 1. 24..] 



In the collation of the two MSS. no account is taken, as a 
general rule, of variations in spelling, in punctuation, or in the 
order of words ; of simple changes of conjunctions, prepositions, 
relatives, demonstratives, or auxiliary verbs (e.g. and for or, 
for r for from, the for that, do for will) ; of interchanges of 
singulars and plurals, present tenses and past; or of omissions 
and insertions of insignificant words. 

In the counting of the lines the chapter headings are not 

Words enclosed within square brackets are found in one 
MS. and not in the other. Sim. indicates that the two MSS. 
nearly but not quite verbally agree. 

T = Trinity College MS. (1504); H = British Museum 
MS. (Harleian 11 30). 

p. 9. 1. 3, 4. Om. and special!, The first, is (T and H). 
I. 4. Wher one doth rule (T). 
I. 5. Om. the second (T and H). 
1. 6. ' ApurroKparia and 6\iyapxia (T) ; 'ApurroKparia or 6\iyapxl& 

L 7. dothe reigne caled Aif/uojcpart'a (T); doth rule called Aij/oo- 

Kparia (H). 
1. 8. understanded (T) ; understand (H). 
1. 8, 9. supremest or highest (T) ; supreme and highest (H). 
1. n. Om. and direct (T and H). 
1. 13. That which the part that ruleth dothe designe or commande 

(T); That which that part which doth rule, define or 

command (H). 



p. 9. 1. 15. And a rule is alwayes understaded (H); As a rule is under- 
stood (T). 
p. 10. 1. 3. Lesbian (T). 

1. 4. Om. right (H). 

1. 5. eavery workmans (T and H). 

1. 6, 7. worke streightest (T and H) ; who goeth streightest to the 
streightness of yt (T); who goeth moste nighest to the 
straightnesse of yt (H). 
Heading of chap. 2. Om. or governement (T). 
p. ro. 1. 13. the part that doth beare rule is to be (T). 

1. 15. to be respectively good (T). 

1. 17. that that is just (T and H). 

1. 19. it is not muche out (T) ; it is not so farre out (H). 

1. 21. profitable and appearance (T and H). 

1. 22. just and right and appearance of right (T and H). 

1. 23. Om. and Soveraigne (T and H). 

1. 24-26. the just man may, for his just and true meaning, who 
would amend (T and H). 

1. 27. doe profitt (T and H) ; For asmuch as (T) ; For as (H). 
p. 11. 1. 2, 3. putt, be by the law justly condemned, yf he be to be 
condemned and justly so accompted who is condemned 
for doing contrary (T) ; Sim. H, but if he be to be 
accounted justlye condemned who. 

1. 8. multitude or great (T and H). 

1. 10. another subdivision (T); an other division (H). 

1. 13. cal /SacriXeia or kinge (T) ; cal a kinge or /SacnXeia (H). 

1. 15. th' one they call the goverment of the best dpiaroKpariav (T). 

1. 16. potentiam optimatum (T). 

1. 20. politian (T). 

1. 24. &TdKTOI> (H). 

Heading of chap. 4. Examples of changings...govermentes (T). 
p. 12. 1. 2, 3. by diversities of tymes all these chainges of rules and gover- 
ment have been seene (T) ; by diversities of times all 
these maners of rules or governments hathe beene seene 

1. 3, 4. As in Rep. Romana first there weare kings, as Romulus, 
Numa, Servius, secondly there were tyrants as Tarquinius, 
Sylla, Caesar, thirdly there was (T). 

1. 5. best men or dpicrroKparia (T). 

1. 6. fourthly the usurping (T). 

1. 8. secession of the Triumvirate (T) ; secession for the Tribu- 
nate (H). 

1. 9. Om. manifestly in the (T). 

1. 11. and after in (T and H). 


p. 12. 1. 12, 13. Fifthly was the common wealth and rule of the people as 
dij/MOKparia at the time of the expulsing (T). 

L 14. long tyme after (T); Om. was (T). 

1. 15. as some will (T and H). 

1. 16, 17. After this was the rule of usurping of the rascaltye (T). 

1. 18. Scylla his rule (T) ; Syllas rule (H) ; Caesars rule (T and H). 

1. 21. Syracuse, of this hathe Lacedemonea (T) ; Syracuse, of this 
fate Lacedemon (H). 

1. 27. and so to decay (T) ; and so decay (H). 
p. 13. 1. 3. Om. bodie (H). 

1. 5. So then when (T). 

1. 7. rather sicknesses of a (T and H). 

1.8,9. ° m - if- estate (T). 

1. 11. wrongefull (T). 

1. 15. meanes possible (T); to dissolve and abolish (T and H). 

1. 15. them. Great (T). 

1. 16. courages have [hath] taken one parte and this made Dion 
(T and H). 

1. 17. Om. up (Tand H). 

1. 19. and have (T); and hath (H); many common wealthes (H). 
Heading of chap. 6. Om. or govemements and most (T). 
p. 14. 1. 2, 3. three kinds, and ech of them into two; yet (T). 

1. 3. must not thinke (T). 

1. 6. have devised (T). 

1. 14. any common wealthe (T and H). 

1. 16. made of the one above named (T and H). 

1. 19. Om. person (T). 

1. 20. Om. that to be the estate of (T and H). 
P- 15- !• »« A tyrant they do define to be he that by force (T). 

1. 4. maketh new (T) ; Om. and consent (T and H). 

1. 5. wealth of his people (T and H). 

1. 6. advantage and advancement (T). 

1. 10. In one sorte a man may be (T); in sorte that one may 
be (H). 

1. 11. getting of the rule (T and H). 

1. 1 4. violence to the rule (T and H). 

1. 15. better orderinge (T and H). 

1. 16. although eache after (T and H). 

1. 21. Commodus sone upon (T) ; Commodus very shortly after 

1. 24. their rule (T and H). 

1. 25. as [all] the good Emperors of Rome after Caesar Octavius 
and the better Popes of Rome (T and H). 

1. 30. Caesar only (T). 




p. 16. 

p. 17. 

p. 18. 

p. 19. 



si, 22 



12, 13 



16, 17 









25, 26 


27, 28 







r 3- 


19, 20 

1. 24. 

dpuTTOKpariap (T and H). 
(?/«. or by...onely (T). 
this absolute (T and H). 

would use it (T and H). 
vofj.ifj.7]v (T and H). 
regular by lawes (H). 
woulde not any to be Dictator (T) ; did not suffer any man 

to keepe the Dictateur (H). 
Greekes call (T). 
. maketh this especially, intreatinge of rulers one kind of 

kings (T) ; maketh this espece of rulers one kind of kings 

as such who (T and H). 
family (T and H). 

. Om. derived... bodies (H); of their loynes (T). 
who absolutely ruled over [upon] (T and H). 
rude and ignorant people, one whom (T and H). 

justice (who. ..of him) he, I saie, for that (T). 
were in manner but (H). 
yea almost when (T). 

was so highly esteemed that he was takne (T). 
Om. at the first (T and H). 
yea some were (T). 

Domitian : for these causes that kind (T). 
Om. at the first (T); Om. taken (T). 
Om. vice of the (T). 
he is accompted a tyrant (T). 
. from whence (H). 
kon-ning (T); kunninge (H). 

kan or kon (T and H). 
betokeneth to end or understand (T). 
19,1. 1. Om. to know... betokeneth (H). 
kan or kon (T). 

sciens aut prudens homo (T) ; prudens aut sciens homo (H). 
verbe also of the other, as in some places and in the older 

language, I can this (T). 
can not understand (T and H). 
vanquerer (H). 

investiture of the Empire (T and H). 
Om. or forraine (T and H). 
. of God himselfe, his people and the sworde of the crowne 

(T); of God and himselfe, his people and sword, the 

crowne (H). 
appease the people (T). 



p. 19. 

p. 20. 



32, 33 




1 4- 
iS» I0 


of chap. 







consciences of his people (T). 

yearly to be payed (T). 

act neither approoved of (T and H). 

accorded by act of (H); accorded by consente of (T). 

. neither did [H. neither to] bind the king then nor his 

successors people or realme [now] (T and H). 
Therefor hereafter the better to be understood (T) ; To be 

better understanded hereafter (H). 
an other division (T and H). 
Om. together (T). 

preservation (T); Om. as well...warre (T). 
abusive (T and H). 

which once paste (T) ; ech man divideth (H). 
communinge (T); commoninge (H). 
and som reason (T and H). 
mary it is (H). 
yet that made (H) ; Om. so (H) ; yet that made not a common 

wealth neither can be so called, because (T). 
Om. of the husbandman (H). 

onely looked for (T and H); or pacte (T); or parte (H). 
as Esaie sayth (T). 

made me? Now the (T); made? Now the (H). 
Lorde, and received and reckoned (T) ; Lorde and maister, 

received among (H). 
but as part (T and H) ; possession of the goods (T). 
. other redresse of administration (T). 
Om. wealth (T and H). 
Om. Remp. or (T). 

11. The first force (T); The first sowrce (H). 
family for the continuance of societie (T); family for the 

societie or continuance (H). 
to defend etc : the woman (T). 
labor etc; as for the nurture (T); [a blank space is left in 

H after "labor for''], 
it is the charge (?) of them both (T). 
Om. faire (T). 
Ech of them (H). 
we be so naturally (T and H). 
to say avOponros (pixret. fwov £<tti (taWov awdvaffTticor i) 

■woXirtKov a man (T and H). 
to beard (T and H). 

all beasts (H) ; Of all living creatures man (T). 
politike, and [he] cannot [well] (T and H). 
Om. and fellowship (T). 

M 2 

l 79 


p. 23. 1. 1. Om. wild (T). 

1. 3. Om. in (T) ; and it is nothing else but a private (T). 

1. 5. &pi<TTOKparla (T and II). 

1. 8. in other thing (T). 

1. 10. greater wit (T) ; greater courage (T). 

Lit. to the woman he hath given (T). 

I. 13. to constrain the man (T). 

1. 15. Om. two (T). 

1. 17. bonde or freemen, their householde stuffe (T). 

1. 20. marie they cannot yet (H) ; apiaroKparLa (T and H). 

1. 31, 22. fiercKpopiKws (T and H); but in an house (H) ; and as it 

wear a little sparke of that governement civill (T) ; sparke 

as it were like to that governement (H). 
1. 25. Om. so that it (T). 
1. 26. Om. wel (T); in one house (Tand H). 
p. 24. 1. 3. children by mariage begin (T). 

1. 5. an other new house (H); familie arisethe (T). 
1. 7. Om. and so. ..another (H); and so by space and time (T). 
1. 11. by their common (T and H). 
1. 14. Om. the first and most naturall (T). 
1. 19. or in going about (T) ; Om. or any wise (T). 
1. 20, 21. of whom he had all. And (T and H). 
1. 21. therefore he doth (T); therefore he will (H). 
1. 22. absolute example of a perfect king (T). 
1. 24. of his body (T). 

1. 25, 26. for them all and every one of them: they (T). 
1. 26. than they all or any one of them (H). 
1. 29. causes (T). 
1. 30. coming (T and H). 

1. 31. no vigoure (T); no rigoure (H); every paine (T). 
1. 32. tooke as laide (H) ; took as put (T). 
p. 25. 1. 1. When the great (T). 
1. 2. did first amongst (T). 
1. 3. reverence of any one (T). 

1. 5, 6. amongst whome (H); to the other that they had in him, 

amonge whome (T) ; it doth amonge brethren (T) ; it 

fareth amongst brethren (H). 
1. 7. risen: yet notwithstanding (T); Om. yet (T). 
1. 8. strangers to them (H); unknowne and strange unto them 

1. 12, 13. fay led his yere and time for ignorance (T); fayled this 

yere or time for ignorance (H). 
1. 13-15. in next beinge wyser of his selfe his brothers fault or error 

he amended. And (T). 



P- *5- 

1. 20. 
1. 22. 

26. 1. 

1. 6, 7. 
1. 12. 
1. i 4 . 
1. 15. 
Heading of chap, 

1. ,9. 
1. 13. 

p. 27. 

L 37-p. 
I. 1. 


1. 6, 7. 
1. 10. 
1. 11. 


1. 26. 

1. 28. 

1. 29. 
Heading of chap 
p. 28. 1. 2, 3. 



1. 9-1 1. 

1. 12. 


1. 22. 

families together within themselves (T). 

not much differinge (T). 

urgent causes and agreed upon som (T and H). 

wisest and sagest (T). 

Om. and maintaine (T). 

and who shoulde (T and H). 

so make them (T). 

walshe and barbarous (H) ; wealphe and barbarous (T). 

seemeth to be (T). 

Om. number (T and H). 

14. The first sowrce (H) ; Om. originall or (T) ; Om. rule of 

the (T). 
Om. all (T). 
eche setteth then merites (T); eche having their merites 

27, 1. 1. Om. such as (H); fewe, for two t h ings for which 

men that be in societie (T). 
men who be (H) ; strive for (T and H). 
profitte. No (T). 
herein (T and H). 

to make more magistrate[s] (T and H). 
rulers, so that eche man in his turn or els by lot might (T). 
commeth by (T). 
Om. old (H). 
Om. of birth (T). 
who should best goveme (T). 
for the sowrce (H). 
resp: populi (T). 
other some sensum potestatis (T). 
.15. ought to be (T); nature of the countrie (T). 
Om. governement in (T). 
alwayes arise of tribulations and malice (T). 
or eche species or kinde (T). 
given which agreeth as you would put a garment fitt to a 

mans body or a shoe fitt to a mans foote so the body 

[politicke] is in quiet (H and T); profit thereby (H 

and T). 
to a contrary kynde of (T). 
is either to greate or to little (T). 
doth lett and comber and hurt (T) ; doth hurt and comber 

and letteth (H). 
Prince or [and] ruler beinge sett at their (T and H). 
with insolencie (T and H). 

1. 23, 24. and so scatter (T). 



p. 28. 1. 27, 28. Om. as. ..others (T and H). [H inserts a marginal note — 
" Graeci, Romanj, Samnites, Vandalj, Dani, Norwegi, 
Suets." This note reappears in some of the later printed 
editions (e.g. 1601) — " Graeci, Romani, Samnits, Vandali, 
Dani, Norwegi, Sueti." Notice that the order in the two 
cases is the same, and that two names not belonging to 
the text are inserted. This precludes coincidence.] 
1. 29. we must (T); must ye (H). 
p. 29. 1. 7. after his (T and H). 

1. 10. Om. part of (T and H). 

1. 12. Om. of (T and H); who when (T); chiefest (T). 

1. 13. the chiefe consult (T); the chiefe consulteth (H). 

1. 15. as the Lumbards did (T) ; as the Lumbards (H). 

1. 17. Swizerds (T) ; Swiss (H). 

1. 18. cuntry (T); Om. yet (T and H); Om. else (T and H). 

1. 19. taketh the rule (T and H). 

1. 20. populacie (H) ; popular sorte (T). 

1. 21. Vicentians [did] at the erection of the citie of Venice 

(T and H). 
1. 22. Om. before (T). 
1. 25. it standeth by (H). 
1. 26, 27. Om. the multitude... make (T). 
p. 30. 1. 2. Om. of the commonwealth and (H). 

1. 3, 4. for they be (T); and as of the goods (T). 
1. 5. And in this (T and H). 
1. 24. base age (T and H). 
L 26. to meddle (T). 
1. 28. do never want (T). 
1. 29. defaultes (T); defaulte (H). 

1. 31, 32. wealth: and is one this wise (to witt) of them (T). 
!• 3 2 > 33 p beare rule and of them (T); office, and which bearethe 
none. Those be called (H); the one be called (T). 
p. 31. 1. 1. other private (T and H); Another order was (T); Another 
was (H). 
Romanes caled Patricii (T). 

a great while (T) ; those that were patricii (T and H). 
them [those] that were plebei (T and H); rule among[st] 

them till (T and H). 
magistracie was (T) ; unto them as well as to the other 

(T and H). 
had they (T and H) ; among[st] (T and H). 
dr/fjLOTiKovi (T and H) ; Frenchemen (T) ; Om. also (T and H). 
le populace (H). 
do commonly divide our men (T). 



















p. 31. 1. 11. citizens or burgesses (T and H). 

Heading of chap. 17. Of the parts [parties] of the commonwelthe of Englande 
(T and H) ; Om. called... maior (T and H). 

1. 20. or highest in (T and H). 

1. si, 22. For a Dukes eldest sonne (T). 

1. 22. Om. called (T and H). 

1. 23. Om. is... of (T and H). 

1. 23, 24. a viscounts son a barron (T) ; Om. else (H). 

1. 26, 27. the good service and advauncement (T and H). 
p. 32. 1.6. and Erles sonnes (T and H); Om. and...earle (T and 

1. 7. Om. which (H). 

1. 8-10. barrons, yet by law and use they be esteemed barons. 
The (H). 

1. 11. degree of the Senators (T). 

1. 11, 12. title of nobilitie as we use to call in Englande to patricii 
(T and H). 

1. 13. filios, afterwards they were called darissimi (T and H). 

1. 15, 16. in yearly valew (T). 

1. 20, 21. the decay be excessive (T and H) ; Om. be (T and H). 

1. 22. moti (H); remoti (T). 
Heading of chap. 18. Om. may (T). 

1. 27. which name (T and H); Om. of prince (H). 
p. 33. 1. 4. Om. he or (T). 

1. 5. mon Seigniour (T). 

1. 6. a Prince (T). 

1. 7. none ar borne (T). 

1. 8. Om. the more (T). 

1. 9. after for advauncement (T); after as an advauncement 

1. 10. Om. and manhood (T). 

L 18. for the vertues (T and H). 

1. 20. Om. and ours (T). 

L 41. Om. in all pointes (T). 

1. 22. Om. any (T). 

1. 23. doth agree with (H); al commonwelthes chainge (T). 

1. 25. diversities of times do give present (H). 

1. 28. wherwith (T). 

1. 29-31. Om. chosen (T); Om. according... commonly (H). 
p. 34. 1. 2. spende (T and H) ; Om. or fee (T and H). 

1. 3. Prince (T) ; Om. so (T and H) ; Equites is (T). 

1. 4. Om. it (T and H) ; knightes, for it is at (T). 

1. 6-7. [findeth] his own horse himselfe (T and H) ; as in the time 
of peace (T). 



p. 34. 1. 7-8. Om. and...warres (T and H). 

1. 10. times and at a (T); times at (H); Om. but in Englande 
(T and H). 

1. n-12. gap in MS. between may and by (H). 

1. 13. prince or at the (T). 

1. 14. at the making (T and H). 

1. 16. take the honour of a knight (T). 

1. 18. had rather do. (H and T). 

1. 20. that abilitie (H); that authoritie (T). 

1. 25. valew (T). 

1. 30. in Englishe (H). 

1. 33. In making (T and H). 

p. 35. 1. 6. Om. house (T). 

1. 8, 9. we shall speake (T and H). Now whereupon (T). 

1. 10, n. more than miles (T). 

1. 12. Om. might... question (T and H). 

1. 13. Om. rather (T). 

1. 14. wagior (?) (H). 

1. 16. solduros (T and H) ; Om. men (T). 

1. 22. oth, execration or (T and H). 

1. 24. Lands knights (H). 

1. 25. land (H). 

1. 25, 26. although now they (T); Om. at this day (H); Om. for... 
hirelings (T). 

p. 36. 1. 2, 3. Frenchmen call (T) ; or hominem equcstris (T). 

1. 8. sous chevallier (T); the tyme (H). 

1. 9. and [then] when he riseth (T and H). 

1. 10. advaunces (T); avaunces (H). 

1. 14. longer (T and H). 

1. 18. Om. in common appellation (T). 

1. 20. after (T). 

1. 27. had [had] manie .noble (T and H). 

1. 28. Om. being (H). 

1. 32. prince, his eldest sonne (T and H). 

P- 37- 1- 3- m all vertues (T and H). 

1. 4. honourable title (T). 

1. 5. enorned with golde (T and H). 

1. 6. Om. of gold (T). 

1. 12. Englande be the heade (T and H). 

1. 19. senngerum (?) (T). 

1. 20. Om. which beare armes (T). 

1. 21. armeros (T). 

1. 22. which do beare a buckler or som other thinge as a testi- 
monie (T). 



P . 3 8. 

P- 39- 

p. 40. 



1 1. 

1. 2. and [by] that being taught in amies had that name (T 
and H). 
8. Om. all (T); calleth all them now (H). 

10. to be honour (T). 

1 1. for his vertues (T and H) ; few (H). 
15. riches (T). 

17. Om. within (T). 

19, 20. Om. 6*«.f...sirname (T). 

20, 21. Sergios, Claudios, Fabios (T). 

22. of which som were (T). 

23. gentille (T); being [yet] remaining (T and H). 
28. olde stocke (T) ; olde smoke (H). 

2. be misliked (T) ; Om. Thus the (T and H). 

had ever such adoe with such men (T) ; those men (H). 
Om. those... Achilles (T). 
Aeacidae, Thersitae (H). 
But all other (T). 
Om. that is (T and H). 
is to have it (T) ; and as vertue (T and H). 
obtained for the example (H); maintained for the example 

progenitors, for the abilitie to give to their race better 
education and bringing up for the enraced love of [the] 
tenants and [or] neighbours to such noblemen [and 
gentlemen of whom they holde and by whom they] doe 
dwell. (H and T). 
Om. which. ..steps (T and H). 
Om. so... prince (T and H). 
merit to deserve (T and H). 
doth make but (T and H). 
them barons (T) ; the barons (H). 
which is commonly saide (T); that is saide (H); ftteris 

(T and H). 
which the tytle shall beare that the said Heralde hath 
perused and seene ould regesters (T) ; past have borne 
the same (T); which the title shall beare that the said 
Herauld in tyme past had borne the same (H). 
Om. of that man (T). 

Om. for sundrie (T and H); which he hath done by the 
authoritie (T and H). 
1. 17. in armes (T); he giveth (T and H). 
1. 18. Om. being (T and H). 
1. 19. an esquier (T and H). 
1. 20. Thes men (T and H). 


1. 12-16. 

L 16, 17. 
L 27. 
1. 29. 

1. 6. 

1. 8-12. 






i 9 , 





9, io. 
17, 18 

21, 22 

2 4 . 




I, 2. 





no, in any (H). 

Om. and keepe (T). 

every shew (T); peculiar (T). 

wide (H). 

so much diminish (T and H); Om. As (T and H);, For 

other outward respecte (T). 
counted (H). 

arme himself accordinglie (H). 
Om. also (T and H); manlyke (T). 
higher courage (H). 
more liberalise (H) ; more liberall (T). 
idle men (T and H). 
Om. hereby per chance (T and H). 
he himself (T); As for (T) ; For as for (H). 
such that have to do in it (T). 
Om. are to (T and H). 

appointed thereunto (T); Om. persons (T and H). 
no (T and H). 
Om. save (H). 
which be called in (T). 
iiij. the borough (T). 
Om. to give (T). 

Om. for... appointed (T and H). 
hominem, this name is known and familiar (T). 
. to writtes (T and H) ; which is an Englishe man freeman 

borne who may (T). 
, v-vi (H) ; at this daye (T). 
Om. yet (T). 
keeping (T). 
to gett (T and H). 
and with (T and H). 
idle servants (H) ; idle ones as do gentlemen (T) ; Om. 

both (T). 
they do arise (T). 
schooles to (H) ; schooles at (T). 
as for distinction as (H) ; and for distinction thus (T). 
thus John (T); esquier, if he be not esquier John Finche 

Gentleman (T and H). 
and ar to be (T) ; Om. number of the (T). 
and such [beinge] the lowest (T and H). 
be to be (H); Om. the number of (T). 
populacie (H); popular sorte (T). 
iroWa /j^ffOKrw apicra (T and H). 
delivered of yt (T and H). 


p. 44. L 3. Om. yet (T and H). 
1. 4. wisheth (T). 

1. 5. uppon their owne (T) ; at their owne (H). 
1. 6. they have their (T and H). 
1. 10. hym and his (H). 

1. 11, 12. who hathe adventured his (H) ; for and with (T). 
1. 16. Om. so... call (T). 
1. 18. Lorde, I meane, (T and H). 
1. 19. for otherwise (T). 
1. 20. nor ever (T); making any (T). 
1. 28. kynde of cowardlines (T). 
1. 29. they had or helde (T). 
1. 30. as from (T). 
1. 32. yeomanry (H); England joyned together might go through 

the worlde (T); Om. are renowned (H). 
p. 45. 1. 1. and we always (T); as we always (H). 
1. 7. remained (T and H). 

1. 10. Om. shew (T); his chiefe strength (T and H). 
1. 13. as young men [man] (T and H). 
1. 14. any man yeoman untill (T). 
1. 16. Yonger (T). 
1. 17. Possibly (Tand H). 
1. 18. to call (T). 
L 20. some lowe (H); they hearde that name by frequentation 

used of the lowe (T). 
1. 21. Om. yet (H). 
1. 22-24. an d being so called amonge them to be counted smale 

gentlemen or younger men; they calling in the warre by 

mocking or sporte one an other when they come home 

used still this name younger man (T); Om. to be (H); 

they calling (H) ; mocking (H); sport on an other (H). 
1. 27. howsoever (T). 
1. 28. yonger (T); yonge (T). 
p. 46. 1. 2, 3. censi pUgtarii (?) or optrarii (T). 
1. 4. marchantes retayners (T). 
1. 11, 12. yeomen, they are fayne to make their inquestes of such 

(T and H). 
1. 19, 20. maintained (T); maimed (?) (H); sortes and manner (H); 

Monarchi or (T). 
1. 23. The second sorte is the (T). 
1. 24. two sorte (T). 
1. 25. which contayneth (T and H). 
p. 47. 1. 1. simple (T and H). 

1. 5. officers (T) ; Om. and collection of (T and H). 



p. 48. 1. 1. Om. of the realme (T). 

1. 2. is the Parliament (T) ; is in the Parliament (H). 

1. 4. gentrie (H). 

1. 5. there is (T and H). 

1. 8. nobilitie and Lordes (T and H). 

1. 15. parties must eache appeare and after that (T); apart (H). 

1. 17. unto it and alloweth it (T). 

1. 19, 20. apply himselfe to defend and obey it (T). 
p. 49. 1. 8. defineth out (T). 

1. 25. sendeth out (H); prescripts (T). 

1. 29. from the day (T). 
p. 50. 1. 1. Om. at the least (T). 

1. 2, 3. admonish every shire (T). 

1. 4-6. Om. to heare.. .shire (T). 

1. 6. all upon that day (T). 

1. 7. ancient (H). 

1. 9. Om. there (H) ; may be ther present the first (T). 

1. 11. who are present (T). 

1. 12. appointed (T) ; voice of the (T and H). 

1. 13. is counted (T) ; yoman I call him (T). 

1. 16, 17. the most voices (T). 

1. 18. likewise also (T). 

1. 22. hie house (H); T Meg. 

1. 26, 27. as his proctour and (T); a voice for him (T). 
p. 51. 1. 1. place whereby (T). 

1. 5. side of that house (H). 

1. 11. of any doubt that ariseth (T). 

1. 14, 15. who give [geveth] their consent (T and H); Om. is given 
(T and H) ; every man (T). 

1. 16. Om. severally (T). 

1. 1 7. proxies or letters for (T). 

1. 18. onely thus (T). 

1. 23. number of three or fower (T). 

1. 25. Om. or chamber (T). 

1. 26. declaring also (T). 

1. 3 r. comming altogether (T). 
p. 52. 1. 1, 2. Om. the commons (T); chancellor againe (T). 

1. 7, 8. requireth (T and H) ; of the prince (T and H). 

1. 11. Secondly that without offence of his majestie (T). 

1. 12, 13. Om. in disputing (T). 

1. 14. Om. and... Majestie (T). 

1. 16-18. him, that they which wear called to his highnes courte 
mighte (T) ; Om. themselves (H). 

1. 23. might have (T). 




P- 54- 

P- £5- 


25. he will not abuse those that have (T). 

L 28, 

29. done the first day (T). 

1- 33- 

Om. house (T). 


either with (T). 


reasonablely (T). 


dispute (H). 

1. 13. 

Om. againe (T). 

1. 14. 

Om. and... question (H). 

1. 16. 

Om. here (T). 


18. you contented (T); And yfe the non contents be more 

than the contents (T). 


antiquated (T and H) ; Now if (T). 

1. 24, 

25. asketh by (T) ; sayinge (T). 

1. 29, 

30. Om. and so...actes (T). 

1. I. 

Om. busie (T). 


moe, if they will have one of them read (T) ; redd (H). 


lowest (T). 


Om. seate or (T) ; for the nonce (T and H). 


Om. first (T). 


Om. point (T and II). 


sundry dayes (T). 


observed (T). 


Om. yet (T). 


whom he dothe (H). 


25. as thus he (T) ; will the bill and gave this and this reason 

doth not satisfye but I am of the contrary opinion for 

this and this reason (T). 


spake (H). 

1. 26. 

ins. ad fin. doth not satisfie, but I am of the contrarie 

opinion for this and this reason (H). 

1. 29. 

replie againe (T). 


Om. in that house (T). 


all the whole time (T). 


but also (T). 

1. 10. 

moste sweet (T) ; moste doulce (H). 

1. 12, 

13. may. Ordinarily (H); time, at (H). 

1. 13. 

or haste (T). 

1. 20, 

21. upon by the reader they subscribe thus (T). 


stmt (T). 


downe againe (T). 


sont (T). 

1. 27. 

understanded (H). 

1. 28. 

then sometimes (T). 

1. 29. 

Om. that a (T). 



p. 56. 

P- 57- 

p. 58. 

• 4- 
. 10. 
. 14. 

• 17- 
. 18. 

• n- 

. -26-28 

• 32. 33 

■ 4- 
. 11. 
. 14. 

• i5- 
, 17. 
. 18. 
. 28-30. 



1. 1. 

1. 12. 

1. 16. 
1. 17, ll 

1. 20. 

Heading of chap. 

P- 59- 

1. 2. 
1. 9, 10. 
1. 10. 
1. 11. 

1. 22. 
1. 26. 

consent (T). 

Om. ech man (T). 

if (T and H). 

lower (T). 

thrise (T). 


thus up the bill (T). 

And if it be doubted (T). 
Om. So. ..part (H). 
certaine committed commonly of them (T). 

these committed (T). 

before sayde (H). 

in his seate and all (H). 

seates (T and H). 

Om. there (T) ; thanksgivinge (T). 

Om. &c (T) ; and then in (T). 

shall be (T and H), and then (T). 
sayth that the prince hath well viewed and weighed what 
[the things which] hath [have] been moved and presented 
[represented] and debated amongst the Lords and them 
[then], and thereupon [therefor] will shew his mynde 
that their doings might have perfect life [lighte] (H 
and T). 

they may have (T). 

season (T). 

Om. &c (T). 

Om. benefit or (T). 

sadvise (T and H) ; counted (T and H). 

none (T and H). 

all other (H); have spokne (T). 

. and by none (T) ; forcible (T) ; make the forfaiture (T 
and II). 

man anewe (T); man of new (H) ; law made (T and H). 

Om. saide (T); saide partyes (H). 

3. Monarchic (T). 

Monarchic (T). 

only with the advice (T). 
participate his mynde (T) ; as many as (T). 

Om. shall (T) ; concerning such (T). 

forren nations or Princes (T). 

ambassages (T). 

or any other deadly (T). 

sudden warre in open (T). 

Om. all (T). 



p. 60. L 9. decryinge (H) ; of the monies (T). 

1. 13. the princes pleasure and discretion (T). 

1. 15. for the coine (H and T). 

1. 26, 27. there was ever (T and H); betwixt (T and H). 

1. 29, 30. "booke of Monies " (T). 

1. 32. Om. by the Parliament (T). 
p. 61. I.3. for paynes of (T). 

I.5. whereas (T); Om. the forfaite (H). 

1. 6. the one parte is to (T) ; is to (T). 

1. in abolicion (H); stat (T). 

1. 13. But notwithstanding (T and H). 

L 22. Om. certaine (T). 

1. 24. excitations (T). 

1. 27. hath hurte (?) or (T). 

1. 30. of any parte of a man (T and H). 

1. 31. Om. in the name (T). 
p. 62. 1. 3. halte (T); justiciars (H). 

1. 4. and so L: Marquesse (T). 

I. 9. landes one (T). 

1. 10. fooles, naturalls, (T). 

1. 11. madd (T and H) ; continue, especially (T and H). 

1. 14. have growne (T and H). 

L 16, 17. who can take (T and H) ; with inverted commas "who... 
hand " (T). 

1. 17, 18. and if it were governed as it might be (whether it be or 
not let [left] others [other men] judge) there is not so 
much ( H and T). 

1. 23. of the Lawes and Lawyers (T and H). 
p. 63. 1. 1, 2. understanded of them of the realme (H). 
Heading of chap. 4. wherein our (T) ; others (T). 

1. 8. which is as much to say [as] (T and H). 

1. 15, 16. where (T and H) ; common wealthes ar most (T). 

1. 17. first (T); 1. (H). 

L 18. secondly (T); 2. (H). 

1. 20. thirdly (T) : 3. (H). 

1. 22, 23. fourthly (T); 4. (H); ellectinge chief (T). 

1. 26. Om. himselfe (T). 
p. 64. Heading of chap. 5. manner of trialles (T); fashions of triall (H). 

1. 6. maner (T and H; also ed. 1584). 

1. 7. betwixt... betwixt (T and H). 

1. 12, 13. and the last day allowed by (T). 

1. 16. intromell (?) (H). 
Heading of chap. 7. Triall or (T). 
p. 65. I. 7. Om. ever (T). 

I 9 I 


p. 65. 1. 9. thus described (T and H). H leaves a space after Briton 
as if for the description. 

1. 10. The other two (T and H). 

1. 14. Om. either (T). 

1. 20. Om, them (H); we call in our language (T). 

1. 27. mary we call (T and H). 
p. 66. 1. 2. Om. necessarily (T). 

1. 3. pleader (T and H). 

1. 5. if he proceed (T). 

1. 5-7. we call him appealer. The other (T). 

1. 6. appealer or appealor (H). 

1. 8. we call him prisoner (T). 

1. 11. Judex also (H). 

1. 20. evil demeanure (T). 

1. 25. ar deprived (T); is dispoyled (H). 
p. 67. 1. 14. for himselfe (T and H). 

1. 22, 23. possessore, to aske one to keepe (T). 

1. 27. call (T). 

1. 33. of the kings (T). 
p. 68. Heading of chap. 10. tribunall benches (T). 

1. 5. straight after (T and H) ; Om. thing (T). 

1. 11. the Tribunals (T). 

1. 14. to be hearde and pleaded, especially (T). 

1. 20. and other men (T) ; Om. called (T). 

1. 21, 22. Om. they (T); may be called (T). 
p. 69. 1. 5, 6. wher judgment is exercised the one (T and II). 

1. 7, 8. and the other in all civill (T and H) ; Om. then (T and H). 

1. 12. Om. no (H). 

1. 17, 18. which was Justitium (H) ; justicia (T). 

1. 20, 21. Om. ten daies during (T) ; Om. at the least (T); from 
[blank in MS.] about v or VI weeks (H). 

1. 21, 22. After Christmas from [blank in MS.] till about three (H) ; 
after Christmas till about three (T). 

1. 23, 24. 8 dayes after Easter to about xix or XX dayes (T). 

1. 23-26. Then after easter from viii dayes after day after Trinity 
Sunday till about three weeks more. All (H). 

1. 24-26. Likewise the 8 th day after Trinitie sunday till about three 
weeks more. All (T). 
p. 70. 1. 4. pleade yt (T and H); Om. but unto that (T and H); I 
meane (T). 

1. 10. with more ease (T). 

1. 16. of those that (T). 

1. 17. have so much (T). 

1. 23. contented (T). 



p. 70. 1. 15, 26. attornies and sergeantes [at the lawe] (T and H). 

1. 30. and those other (H); it made (H); Those other by his 

judgment is made no (T). 
1. 31. they had (T); injustice they had (H). 
1. 32. thus I (H). 
p. 71. 1. 1, 2. aKpifioSucaiov (H); aKfu^oSiKas (?) (T). 
h 7. exactions (T). 
L 8, 9. dolis (?) (T); Om. mali (T). 
1. 13. ancient law (T). 
1. 15. Om. wherein he is (T). 

L 15, 16. hath this as in the solemne forme (T and H). 
1. 16-20. T places "And...appertaine" within inverted commas. 
1. 1 7. cause (T). 

1. 23. constrained (T); by no rigour nor (H). 

1. 26. usuall forme of pleading and properties (T) ; usuall form of 
pleading and proper (H). 
p. 71. 1. 2. in the law (T and H). 

1. 4, 5. Om. two (T and H) ; exercise, whereof two (T and H). 

1. 8. number of [blank in MSS.] (T and H). 

1. 9. These hath (H) ; These had (T) ; one ordinarilie for a 

stypend (T). 
1. 10. ins. the two, the chiefe, th' one to the somme of [pds.] 
[blank in MSS.] the other to the som of [blank] the 
rest [pds.] [blank] a peece (T and H). 
I. 23. Om. remaineth (H) ; strife as a matter helde (T). 
1. 24. can issue out and be voided (T and H). 
1. 27. Om. our (T). 
p. 73- 1- 4- that fashion (T and H) ; which is called (T and H). 

1. 5. demurr (T); Om. where (T and H); cause (T). 
1. 6. to be doubtfull (T) ; this is (T and H). 
1. 7. cause (T). 

1. 9. Om. helde for (H) ; holden for (T). 
1. 10. and [the] lande (T and H). 
1. 1 1 . anie parte (T). 
1. 14. no more (T) ; but still (T). 
I.18. So that in that case (T and H). 

1. 19, 20. doubtfull that it is ended, that in the answere (T and H). 
1. 21, 22. triplication etc [and so forth], the matter is concluded in 
the pleadinge (if th' exception be not vaylable) the Judge 
out of hand deciding. And (T and H). 
1. 22, 23. must graunte (T and H). 
1. 28. former etc. (II). 
p- 74- I- I, 2. Om. or barre the partie (T and H). 
1. 3. prove it (T and II). 




p. 74. 

P- 75- 


p. 76. 

P- 77- 

p. 78. 


issue ; streighte all (H); and the question (T). 

the one or the other (H). 
civill lawes manner (T). 

thear the Sergeantes (T). 
Om. before the Judges (T). 
Om. determine (T). 

Om. of the one partie (T). 

either wonne (T). 

have any (H). 

and all the rest (H) ; shall serve (T). 

Om. as this (T). 

easye to understand (H). 

peradventure make judgment contrarie (T and H). 

at large (T). 
chap. 14. Om. court of (T and H). 
20. officers as [several lines left blank] (H). 

Reife or Baylife (T); bailiff (H). 

uppe the accompts (T); Om. the profittes of (H). 

Om. thinks (H). 

as of other that commeth (T). 

tents, unzismes (?), taxes (T). 

account be they (T). 

they have (T and H). 

ratiocinales (H). 

whereof one is called (T). 

Tribulus (T). 

as we (T) ; as ye (H). 

declaratores (H) ; Om. part of (T and H). 

in the la we (T and H). 

after the fashion (T and H). 

as by (H and T) ; Om. men (H). 

publicani (T and H). 
32. Om. of the commaundementes (T). 

Om. for the most part (T). 

Earls office (T). 

mercements (T) . 
ia. of latines (H) [blank in T]; reliquiae (T). 

Om. such (T). 
15. respondent for the same (T) ; Om. As (T and H). 

and for the most part (T and H). 

Other to streyne (H) ; either to strayne (T). 

to the sherif of the shy re (T). 

fades (T) ; ins. and is in this forme (T and H ; H also 
leaves a space for further insertion). 


9, 10 






















. 2, 3. distingiias (T); Om. to the retume of the sherife (T and H). 

■ 3» 4. Om. for (T) ; appearing be (T). 

. 5. mans head (T and H). 

. 13. voideall(H); depending of (T). 

. 23. Om. men (H). 

. 26. enough (H). 

.27. merced [amersed] according to the discretion of the judge[s] 
(T and H). 

3. kinde of lawefull triall (T and H). 

. 7. can be (H). 

. 8. partie (T and H) ; their exceptions (T and H). 
, 11, 12. parte (T); If foure be once allowed of both parties they 

foure do [trye and] allowe (T and H). 

. 13. exceptions against them (T). 

. 17. of all that (T). 

. 18. conscience, when (T). 

. 3a Om. order and (T). 

32. Om. that it is (T). 
, 4, 5. Om. of the evidence (H). 

8. partye (H). 

. 15. verdite upon (T and H). 

16-18. of one of [amongst] them (T and H) ; all. When... 
agreed (for it... agree) they (H). 

21. narrowly (T). 
30. Om. all (T). 

1 . be names ( H) ; be made (T). 
3. manner of the (T). 

7. shyre : as now (T) ; Om. and although (H). 

10. but those did (T and H). 

16. mette together in one day at the (T). 

24. weapon or weapen (T and H). 

27. monstere was (H). 

2. Om. most (T). 

3. all so (T and H). 

4. somewhear (T); hundrethes have their (T) ; had (H). 
6-7. T places "such... things" between inverted commas. 
7. Each hundred (T and H). 

12. have such (T). 

14- seem (T); 38 (T). 

16. contaynithe (T) ; yet all (T). 

18, 19. yeare, in the whole making but a quarter of a year (T). 

22. being used (T). 
24. in that sort (H). 

id. all judgementes (H). 

N 2 



p. 8 3 . 

P . 84. 

p. 85. 

p. 86. 

p. 87. 

4. likewise the baylife (T) ; bailiffe (H). 
. 7. Om. or at his pleasure (T and H). 
. 12. Om. other (T). 

. 19. controversie among[st] them (T and H). 
. 20, 21. can serve (T and H) ; for them which can be contented 

. 24-26. parte so will (T); writte from [of] Westminster Hall to 

bringe it thither (T and H). 
. 27. to be (H). 

. 28. summe, who to suche [a] quantitie doth (T and H). 
. 30, 31. from them (H); who that will may bring it to (Hand T). 
. 33. Om. the marches of (T and H). 
. 1. at [blank in both MSS.]. 
. 4. Om. yet if (H). 
. 7. Chauncery (H). 

. 10. after the manner of (T) ; Om. of Englande (T). 
.11. manner (T). 
.17. to the men (H). 
. 18. Prince that ruled (T and H). 
. 19. Om. for (T). 
. 20. frayers (H). 

24. constayned (T). 

3, 4. laute or lauge (T) ; lawte or lage (H) ; corruptinge of (T). 

4. Om. and chaunging (T) ; chaunge (H) ; from law (T) ; 

from lawte (H). 
6. Om. yet (T). 
8. understanded (H). 
12. and the Barony and of the knighte and (H). 

16. inhabitinge (T). 

17. contrye (H) ; highest (T). 

18. 19. or the most parte (H). 

23. Om. come (H). 

24. learning, activitie, or policie (T). 
1. Om. are not (T and H). 

6. 30, 40 or 50 (T). 

7-9. necessarie to do many things to have many of the Quoium : 
for because the wordes (T and H). 
1. 9. nos (T). 
1. 20. supposeth to be the (T). 
1. 28. uppon them (T and H). 
1. 31. Om. out (T and H). 
1. 1, 2. Om. theftes... extortioners (T). 
1. 3. all other such (T). 
I.5. If any (T). 


8. 9. for any of their [those] faults (T and H). 

9. Om. bil (T). 
15. on the back (H). 

18. ins. The manner of yt [of the bill] is suche. Inquiratur 
pro Domino Rege [si] etc. (T and H). 

19. truth (T). 

23. looketh unto more shortly (T) ; For this first (H). 

29. diverse shyres (T and H). 

6. ther is nothing determined thear (T and H). 

14. in suspition (T and H). 
22. Om. good (T). 

26. Om. be more unrulie (T); most calme (T and H). 

29. popular sorte (T) ; populacie (H). 

3. to take (T and H). 

4. of those articles (H). 

5. to meete (T and H). 
8-29. T places " There was... wealth " between inverted commas. 

8. in no (H). 

15. and to call (H). 
15, 16. occasion clothe present two or three (T). 

19. So that this is a (T). 

20. Om. good (T). 

26. come to be doone (T and II). 

27. manier de arguit (T). 

Heading of chap. 20. takne (T); Om. may (T); can (H). 

10. Om. still (T). 

13. 14. The parish... this dutie (T and II). 

15. to escape (T and H). 

16, 17. parties (T) ; their (T). 
19. herein (T) ; thereofe (T) ; but also (H). 

7. quantitie (T). 

9. recognisaunts (H). 

12. bodie thereof (T). 
25. he empallenethe (T). 

28. Om. or view (T). 

4. tolde you before of the (T). 

5. somtyme to take a day of xx (H) ; sometime of (T). 
7. Om. more (T). 

14. streightwayes (T). 

15. not as a (H). 
25. saftie (T). 

10. or of killing any man (T and H). 

11. take the (T and H). 

13. hee finde cause (T and H) ; may keepe (T). 



P- 93- 

p. 94. 



p. 96. 1. 

p. 97. 

18. behaviour [havor] and abilitie (T and H). 

23. Om. the Justice of peace (T). 
27. ydlely and suspiciously (T). 

1. Om. Princes (T). 

2. Otn. till (T). 

12. betokeneth is (T); yet knowen (H). 

13. Otn. or chiefe (T). 

14. borowe or cheefe of the village (T). 

16. "Cunning" [Conyng] which is Kinge. " Cunningstable " 

[Conyngstable] as (T and H). 

4. Otn. also (T). 

7. Om. but (T). 

8. Om. commonly (T). 
10. Om. yet (T and H). 
n. there come (T and H). 

12. any evidence (T). 

20. standinge at (T). 

25. quitt (H) ; And then be quitte (T). 
2-3. shire as they be appointed (T). 

3. yeare, and so other to other (H). 

5. up in Th' excheqr (H) ; uppon the Exchequer (T). 

6. meeteth them all (T). 

9. asketh for their (T); Om. for it (T); Exchequer and his 

bayliff (H). 

10. by his baylifes hath (T). 

ir. enquirye (H); Om. of inquire (T). 

13. readely (T). 

17. tribunall seate of (T). 

18. sit two or three (T) ; sitteth the ii or iii (H). 
21-23. Om. according... peace (T). 

24. 25. set alowe [on low] whear (T and H). 

26. of the writtes of the exchequer (T). 

27. table sitte the sheriff of the shyre, behind that there (H). 

28. Otn. with (T and H) ; space for the xn (T). 

29. Om. men (T and H). 

31. Otn. by the gaoler (T); and chained (II). 

3. names, which when (T and II). 

4. forth with (T). 

7. then the clarke (T). 

12. one horse of suche an (T). 

18. Om. so (T); adjudged (T). 

21. can (T) ; other table (T). 

23. the table, as therwith his bodie is (T). 

25. men do (T). 



P . 97 . 
P . 98. 




12, 13 

causes (T). 
before judged (T). 
examined him (T). 
if ther he (T). 
triall. After (T). 

crime, and, Thou (T). 

14, 15. and thy Countrie (H). 

16. of thy (H). 

17. against any (T and H). 

19. Om. in (T) ; Om. Juror (T and H). 

20. CD. (T). 

n. upright (T); Om. &c (T). 
23. untill they (T). 
26, 27. I have said before (H). 

29. to have bene committed (T and H). 

30. Om. daily (H). 

31. men (H). 
p. 99. L 4. everie man (T); cryinge (H); Om. then (H). 

4,5. or iiii untill (T) ; Om. of xii (T). 
7. give any (H); any man have any evidence (T). 
13,14. evidence. Yf none come in to geve evidence (H). 
16. hande and estimation yet (T). 

2. robbest (H). 

3. dist beate (T). 

6. Om. then (T and H). 

7. Om. him (H). 

L 10. any evidence (T). 

1. 17, 18. dutie to God and the [your] Prince (Tand H); Ovi. doe... 
discharge (T). 

1. 19. this sometime (T). 

L 22. I pray (H). 

1. 24, 25. Om. but (T); departure (T); Om. in writing (T). 

1. 27, 28. guiltie to bringe in what (T). 

1. 29. Om. time of the (H). 
p. 101. 1. 5. that did give (H); that gave (T). 

1. 10. understanded (T and H). 

1. 14. sighte and presence (T). 

1. 24. Om. some (T). 

1. 27. Om. they tell (H). 

1. 29. they have bene by (T). 

1. 30. Om. though... expedition (T and H). 

1. 33-p. 102, 1. 1. Then he asketh them (T) ; Then the Judge asketh 
p. 102. 1. 5. Thou A. (H). 



p. 102. 1. 6. A.B. (T). 

1. 7. being thereof (H) ; Om. thereto (T). 

1. 8. wilt (T) ; woldest (II). 

1. 9. sayest (T) ; and the (T). 

1. 11, 12. Thear he asketh of the quest (T). 

I.17. matter. If...guiltie, the (T). 

1. 18. person had (T). 

1. 22. enquire of the matter (T). 

1. 23. Exchequer (T). 

1. 37. Om. such (H). 

1. 28. Om. be (H). 

1. 29. Om. one (T); Om. in (T). 

1. 30. feare of lyfe (T). 

p. 103. 1. 4. psalm he will (H). 

1. 11. non legit (T). 

1. 13. A.B. (T). 

1. 17. Om. first (T). 

1. 25. Om. and is delivered (T). 

1. 27. after an other certaine (T). 

1. 28. sett at large (T). 

1. 31. acquitted forth (H). 

p. 104. 1. 1. Om. he (H); an occasion (H). 

1. 3. but seldome (H). 
Heading of chap. 24. ins. Of (T). 

1. 9. Om. that will (T) ; they doo. (T). 

1. 10. dismembringe (T). 

1. 13. Om. committed (T). 

I. 15. engreve(T); (?) engreme (H). 

1. 17. which thing is very seldom seene (T) ; murders (T). 

1. 23, 24. for it is petit treason (T). 

1. 26. Om. but (T and H). 

1. 27. Attempt (H); To attempt (T). 

p. 105. 1. 1. poison (T); in wait (H) ; laying wait (T). 

1. 2. Om. yet (T and H). 

1. 5. Om. but (T) ; As (H). 

1.6. all that (T); Om. and (T). 

1. 9. Om. as (T) ; to torment (T). 

1. 14. for severitie (T); For how (T). 

1. 15. Om. as a free man (T). 

1.2i. Om. him (H). 

1. 22. byndeth him not (T). 

1. 26, 27. Om. for... torment (T). 

1. 29. than here (T). 

1. 32. shall (T). 



p. 106. 

p. 107. 
p. 108. 

p. 109. 

p. no. 



































absolve them (Tj. 

Om. to any torment (H). 

ins. And this is enquired upon in every fashion. (II). 

men do judge him (T). 

Om. there is (T); Om. his countrie (T and H). 
12. men of whome they have agreed themselves who do [doth] 

fynd them worthy [of] death (T and H). 
1 4. themselves (T and H). 

haughty (T); haultaine (H) ; Om. but (T and H). 
17. Om. and punishment (T); and so (T and H) 

ould auncient (T); " legum-latores " (T). 
24. manner [of] profit or commoditie (T and H). 

onely the service (T and H). 

is used in Treasons (T). 

headed (H); those quarters (T). 

adjudged (T). 

Om. Lord (T). 

in the matter (T); Om. it is (T). 

Judge shall (T). 

deferr (T and H). 

Om. to say to (T). 

declareth (H). 

for as for (H); Om. and (T). 

109, 1. 1. whereby he is (T). 

either founde guiltie or ungiltie (T). 

And if the Sherif shold deferr th' execution and the prisoner 
either (H). 

Om. Justices or of the (T). 

Om. man (II); or an other to (T). 

Om. upon (T and H). 

in, he escapeth (T). 

Om. but (T and II) ; Queene that now is (T). 

Om. one (T). 

a large (T). 

wear put to utter ignominie (T). 

doinges of very many were accounted (T). 

Om. verie (T). 

Om. Wherefore (T and H) ; This commeth (T and H). 

at some time (T). 

Om. corruption and (T). 

empallened (T). 

men seemeth (T). 

Om. and (T and H) ; Om. as (T and H). 

before in (T). 

N 5 



p. no. 
p. in. 

p. 112. 

p. 113. 

p. 114. 

28. judge (H). 

3. Om. that (T) ; to have gone (T). 

4. afore (T and H). 

6. defamed (T); yereday and waste (H); yeares waste (T). 

8. present time (T). 

13, 13. Om. and partie (T and H); Om. if...xx. li. (T and H). 

14. Om. because (H). 

18. And the meane they (H). 

19. as is in them the (H). 

20. Om. composition and (T). 

24. gladly (H) ; the sentence of the first enqueste (T). 

25. Mary, if (T and H). 

3. revoked afresh (T) ; revoked of fresh (H) ; to be disputed (T); 

to the disputee (H) [cf. p. 130, 1. 4]. 
6. denihillare (T). 

9. 'processus' (T). 

17. Om. being (T and H). 

19, 20. Men they ar permitted (T). 

26. But all these (T). 

29. losse as evill (T). 

4. Om. man (T). 

9, 10. apprehended and constitute[d] prisoner, not to be outlawed : 

yet within (T and H). 
15. see execution of justice (T). 

18. I will leave (T). 

19. professe accusation (T). 

21. to the graunde assise (T and H) ; Om. to (T). 
25. Om. in person (T) ; must finde (T). 
1. &6\r)reis (H). 
4. Om. by (T). 
6. Om. according (T). 

8. as calumniator (T and H) ; suffer hanginge (T); the paine of 
hanginge (H). 
, 9. So that as well as by (T and H). 

10. death to the one or to the other; mary this [is] more 

(T and H). 
,12. needs die (T). 
, 13, 14. Om. of death (T). This triall is shorte, for by, from 

morninge to nighte the quarrell (T) ; querrell (H). 
.17. a small too do (II) ; as little to doe (T). 
. 25. reason (H). 
. 36. Om. they I say (H) ; Philosophic prevayle, it muche mis- 

lyketh (T). 
1. 28. in many (T). 



p. 114. I. 31. shadowe of their (T). 

1. 32. Om. of triall (H); now beene used, for (T). 
1. 33. rather see (T). 
p. 115. 1. 1. the history of times (T). 
L i«. enquire (T). 
1. 15. convicted (T). 
1. 17, 18. be to the lawe (T). 
1. 21. Om. understand (H). 
!. 22. in no (II). 
p. 116. 1. 9. images with (T). 

I. 12. by force (T and II). 

1. 13. our nation (H); our forfathers (T). 

1. 1 4. to be either (T and H). 

1. 15, 16. or to civill wans amonge themselves, which (T); and to 

much accustomed to civill warres within themselves, which 

1. 17. Om. amongest (T) ; where men (T); and where men (H). 
1. 18. be plentifull (T and H); who when (T). 
1. 19. externe warrs (T and H). 
1. 21. combatts amonge (T and H). 
1. 22-25. themselves so much impacient of injury and right [wrong] 

as they were wont to do all injury they cold by force 

[coulde before] with prayse of manhood to their enemyes. 

Our nation [being] used (T and H). 
1. 26. therunto (T). 
1. 32. retaynewe (T); then at (T); Om. of... riots (T); therof the 

enquirie at every sessions of (H). 
h 33- Sessions of Ryots and Routs (T). 
p. 117. 1. 3. themselves together (T). 

1. 4. [to] enquire of the Ryot (T and H). 

1. 6. dealt with (T and H). 

1. 8. Om. Kings (T). 

1. 14. Om. come (T). 

1. 16. one of (T). 

L 17. Om. one (T and H). 

1. 21. condemned (T). 

1. 22. Om. shall be (H). 

1. 23. lying (T). 

1. 24. his restraint of libertie (T). 

1. 30, 31. wherof yt is attempted (T); wherefore he attempted (H) ; 

violence remitted (T and H). 
1. 32. Om. stoute (H). 

1. 33-p. 118, 1. 1. Om. which. (T) ; manner man (H). 
p. 118. 1. 5. chamberlain (T). 



p. 1 1 8. 1. 6. to devise that court (T and H). 

1. ii. farre of from (H). 

1. 20. good remonstrance (T and H). 

1. 21. being well (T and H). 
p. 119. Heading of chap. 5. Courte (II). 

1. 1. Englishe (T). 

1. 4. warde or [an] orphane (T and H). 

1. 9, 10. Om. the age of (T) ; " tutores" and " curatores " (T). 

1. 10. countable (T and H). 

1. 11. Om. pupils (T and H). 

1. 17. Om. for (H) ; excuse them (T). 

1. 19. upon whom (T and H). 

1. 22. body of the person (T and H). 

1. 25. disagreement (T). 

1. 26. age xxj (H) ; Om. yeres (H) ; fourteen struck out and 
replaced by 16; in margin, — Westmr. the first cap 12 
untill 16 (H). 

1. 29. esteemed [by] the profite of [blank in MS.] yeare of (T and 

p. 120. 1. 3. of another (T and H); for thear is (T). 

1. 4. kinde of wardshipp which is called (T and II). 

1. 5. ward in socage (T and H). 

1. 7. of the kind (T). 

1. 10. if it discend (T). 

1. 11. countable (T and H). 

1. 18. wardshipp (T) ; for then she (H). 

1. 27. gardians or masters (II). 

1. 28. but also (T) ; houses and lands (H). 

1. 29. Om. to be (T). 

p. 121. 1. 1. so ill (T). 

1. 2. daynties and pleasures (T). 

1. 8. Om. naturall (T). 

1. 11. other that hath (T). 

1. 15, 16. doe seeke how they (T). 

1. 17. They all say they (T). 

1. 22. sister or neece (T). 

1. 29. to the bare (T and H). 

1. 30. Om. sue ouster le main (T) ; outre le maine (II). 

1. 31. after besydes (T). 

1. 33. that his father left him (T). 

p. 122. 1. 4, 5. persons and gentlemen (T). 

1. 8. it is descended (II). 

1. 13. have a noble man (T). 

1. 22. education; our common wealth was (T and II). 



p. 112. 1. 24. destinate (T); It was thought (T >nd H) ; Om. Yet (T 
and H). 

1. 28. Om. finde and (T). 

I.28-32. friendes. Who... . service? (H). 

1. 29. for who (T). 
p. 123. 1. 8, 9. of the matter, then an augmentation and that (T). 

1. 13. Englande as I havesayed be (T). 

1. 14. vitae & (H); vitae vel (T). 

1. 18. this have (H). 

1. 20. Om. juelles (T). 

1. 22. Lawe fee (H) ; Lawe and feode (T). 

L 24. She neither (H). 

1. 25. Om. anie thing (T); her husbandes or hers (H); Om. owne 

1. 26. Om. Theirs no (T). Hers no (H) ; things by (T). 

L 27. Om. as (T) ; Om. aut (T) ; servi or (H) ; familiaris (H). 
p. 124. 1. 7. applyed upon his buriall (T); bequest that (T). 

1. 10. her children (T). 

1. 12. thirde part (T). 

L 14. betwixt (T and H). 

1.15- But the (T); is if (T). 

1. 17, 18. parenthesis from I. 17 placed after prescription (T). 

1. 20. children (T). 

1. 21. such portions as (T) ; Om. it belongeth unto (T and H). 

1. 22. Om. the Ordinarie (T and H); Om. hath (T and H). 

1. 22, 24. (suche gravitie is dew to his discretion) for the most (T); 
such gratuitye is due unto, according to his discrecion, 
for the most (H). 

1. 25. by the halfe (T). 

L 27. in the[ir] preachers (T and H). 

1. 30. that they would (H). 

1. 31. gayne or profit (T); that they once (H and T); Om. so (T). 

I" 33- with certaine orders (T). 
p. 125. 1. 9. Cnaius (H). 

I. 13. even as (T). 

1. 1 7. out of one (T) ; out of their (H). 

1. 21. Om. but Philippe Smith (H); Om. and...signe (T). 

1. 22. Om. so (T). 

1. 23. and is called (T). 

1. 30. last husbande (T). 
p. 126. 1. 1. we have certeine in (T) ; Om. olde lawe and (H). 

1. 2. manages as (T) ; memorie and vew or (T). 

1. 3. as given (T). 

1. 6. did but buy (T). 



p. 126. 1. 7. Libripeus (T); Libripens (H). 

1. 8. " perfectae " (T). 

1. ix. Om. both (T). 

1. 17, 18. childe is accompted myne heire and lawefull (H) ; lawefull 
chylde (T). 

1. 22. Om. children (H); rather meliores (H) ; meliors (T). 

1. 23. unlawful! (T). 

1. 26. they legittimate (H). 

1. 28. sayed (T). 

1. 29. potestate viri (II). 

p. 127. 1. 1. wives of Greece (H); wives in Greece (T). 

1. 3. Om. office (T). 

1. 8. wyfe (T). 

1. 10. especially when they be (T). 

1. 11. Om. them (T and H). 

1. 14. executrices (H). 

I.16. governaunce of their (H). 

1. 20. talked of [onely] (T and H). 

1. 21. executrix (T). 

1. 23, 24. As the manner is of the (T and H) ; husbande bringeth 
(T and H). 

1. 26. [n]or alienate his wives land (T and H). 

1. 27. during the tyme of (H). 

1. 30. the next (T and H). 

1. 31. mary if (T and H). 

1. 33. userie of the (T). 

p. 128. 1. 4. bought with [his] monye (T and H). 

1. 6, 7. Om. That...landes (T). 

1. 8. dower (T). 

1. 9. have any childe (H) ; to him (II) ; unto them (T). 

1. 10. Om. eldest (T and H) ; have none the rest descendethe (T). 

1. 16. understanded (T and H). 

1. 17. is not more (H). 

1. 20, 21. wife, themselves, their parents, and (T). 

1. 22. strength wherein (T). 

1. 29. other lands (T and H). 

p. 129. 1. 1. Om. other (H). 

1. 2. mancipatio (H). 

1. 3. Like (II). 

1. 6. manner of law (T). 

1. 10. controllinge (T and H). 

1. 15. there is no (H); honour dieth (T). 

1. 16. wholly (H); lands descend wholly (T). 

1. 20. in his life time (T). 



24, 25. that ceremony (T and H). 

26. Om. by (T and H) ; la we taketh place. If (T and H). 
28. partition (T). 

31, 32. Om. in. ..and (T); yet that which is called ganelkinde or 
Gabel kinde (T) ; gavell kinge (H). 

(?) disputee (H) [cf. p. 140, 1. 12]. 

Om. which... servi (T and H). 

the disputee (H) [cf. 1. 4]. 

ther was other which (T). 

bond men (T and H). 

and those (H). 

villains regardants (T and H); Om. immediately (T and H). 

nigri censiti (T). 

manor. Those in the [our] (T and H). 
27. called villains appendants of the manor (T and H). 
















Om. number (T). 

Om. of.. .that (T) ; speaking of (T). 

the sortes (II) ; these sortes (T). 

Om. in Englande (T) ; used as done (T). 

since the (T); required (T). 
n, 12. Om. which... brethren (T). 
12. Christ we be all "conservi" (T). 

14, 15. he must (H); the rest acknowledge (T). 

15, 16. their brother, and even as fitly termed a Christian (T); 

terme even Christian (H). 

17, 18. with me [?men] (H) ; Christ with man (?) to have portion 

in the gospell of salvation (T). 

18, 19. scruple, long tyme ago, and by (T and H). 
20. especially in extreme (T). 

23. Om. and litle (H). 

25. all theirs. Marie (T and H); Om. with the (T and H). 

26. Om. in... by (T and H). 

28. Churche (T). 

29. Churche (T and H); mannor (T). 
31. Om. at. ..and (T). 

33. them partly (H) ; theirs ; partly (T). 

4. Om. yet (T and H). 

5. Om. with us (T) ; in such sort (H). 

8. to holde (T and H). 

9. other save that (H) ; other savinge that (T). 

10. would fleese (T). 

12. taile now them (H) ; do take now and thenn and take a 
peece of mony of them whom (T). 
1. 15. chainging (T) ; changement (H). 



1 6. Om. gentle (T). 

17. Christians (H). 

18. Om. servile (T). 

20. [the] villayns appendants] (H and T) ; and afterwards (H). 

21. extinguished and finding (H); extinguished that finding (T). 

23. time of gentility (T and H). 

24. Om. they. ..whole (T). 

27. christned (T) ; Christomed (H). 
28,29. Om. and serve... them (T). 

5. Om. part (T). 

8. Om. one (T). 

12. Om. have (H). 

13. their oulde profetts did (T). 

14. Om. that (II); that that Christ which was (T). 

16. their heal the in (T). 

20. it hath fructified (II) ; fructifying (T). 

2 1 . have brought (T) ; humaine gentlenesse (T) . 

25. Om. in (H); serf(H). 

28. teach us (H). 

29. Barbares (H). 

30. serfs or (H) ; slaves and (T). 
32. a syne and fashion (T). 

1. villaines appendants] (T and H). 

1, 2. ground, [and] for that service and that (T and H). 

7. Om. as (T and H). 

12. This terme (H). 

13. villany (T). 

15. Om. lande (T). 

17. upper grounde (H). 

19. 20. Om. doeth bring (H). 

23. faith and confidence or (T). 

24. some other service (T) ; a Lorde (H). 

25. Om. againe (T and H). 
30. capite (T and H). 

32, 33. he sweareth (H). 

1, 2. Om. His.. .land (T). 

2. father, if he be within th' age shalbe his ward, and his 

daughter if he holdeth the land after the death of the 

father, shall be maried (H). 

1. 2-4. father, yf he be within age shall be his warde, and his 

daughter yf shee holde the lande (T). 

1. 5. almosine (?) (H) ; almosy (T) ; Om. cause and (H). 

1. *ro. foedo (H) ; feode (T). 

1. 14. save (T and H). 



p. 135. 1. 15. be indeed not "vere [veri] Domini" (T and II); Om. but 
rather (T). 

24. Om. was (T) ; in fide (H). 

25. or in feaf : (T). 

26. 27. Lawyer (II); Om. make (H); Om. a (T); words (T). 
30. fief, feoff, or fioffees and feoffers (II) ; fef, feaf, or feoffes (T). 

. 3. no. [blank in MS.] (II); vetitum namium (ed. 1584); veti- 

tum, mary (T). 
. 3, 4. when it is in plaine [in oulde] duche and our (T and H). 
. 5. yther nempte (II) ; vither-nempte iterum accipere (T). 
. 7. taketh (H). 
. 9. carieth (H). 
. 10. order of tyme (T). 
. 17. of them bothe (T). 
. 1 8. toume thither from (T). 
. 19. parties be free (T). 
. 28. bound (H). 
. 29. thereof. This is (T and H). 
. 33. betwixt (T and H). 

6. is but by (II) ; is but for (T). 

7. a time. For the time (H) ; Om. and... time (T). 
16. meete. He is (H); masters findinge (T). 

19. Om. for (T and H); Om. or x (T). 

20. yeres, some x or xii yeares (T). 

21. Om. shall. ..or (T and H). 

22. noteth (T) ; hath well noted (H). 
24, 25. Om. neither yet doeth (T and H); and the worde dothe 

[not] betokne it [that] as Polidor dothe suppose (T and 

30. as one (T). 
3. Om. upon (T and H). 
7. hired by the yeare (H). 
9. all the whole (T). 
12. Om. and be (T and H). 
16. must not (T). 

18. depart out of his service (T and H). 

19. expyred (T). 
21. Om. unmaried (T). 

3. himselfe (T). 

4. Om. spoken (T). 
6. him selfe (T). 
15. "servi"(T); service (H). 
18. one fashion and some [after an] other (T and H). 

Heading of chap. 9. bookes (T and H). 













themselves (T). 

still : that (T and H) ; Om. of (H) ; newe and (T and H) ; 

Om. those... keeping (T and H). 
conscience, that they shoulde be kept and ordered as they 

weare before in paganisme: they committed (T). 
as [such] things whearof (T and H). 
skill of the disputee (H) [cf. p. 130, 1. 4, 12]; skill to dispute 

of (l>. 

rather canon (H) ; rather com : (T) ; contestatorum (T). 
24. Om. in the common lawe (T and H). 
la we, or if I (T and H). 
possessor as " Intestator" (T). 
oweth (T) ; owed (H). 
praemunier (T). 
proctor and assessor or whoso (T). 

10, 11. Om. of the realme (T). 





praemuniri for (T) ; Om. because that (T and H). 

holde (T); hathe helde (H). 

define yt (T). 

forum (T and H). 

divers from (T and H). 

Om. is (T and H). 

regis and (T); Om. Yet (T and H); I speake of this last 

although at this present (T and H). 
other (H) ; the other (T) ; Om. force (T). 
Om. forren (T). 
Om. indeede (T and H) ; Om. nowe (T and H). 

Between lines 3 and 4, H inserts a heading: Cap : 10. Epilogus. 

4. carte (T). 

5. termeth iv tottw (T). 

11, 12. Romanes which Justinian hathe compyled (T and H). 

14. of Persees (H); Om. of Persia (T); nor our (H). 

15. Om. being (T and H). 

16. Om. never (T); imaginations, and phantased (T). 
19. Om. Anno (T); ins. Dm (H). 

22. in the 51 (H). 

27. write (H) ; Om. easie (T) ; easily (H). 

28, 29. the eies (T) ; the handes (T) ; Om. as (T) ; Om. project 

or (T). 
4. Om. in (T). 
10. Om. better (T). 






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